04 February 2009

The Blind Man

This evening's reading from For All the Saints is Mark 8:11-26, and this poem by one Howard Arnold Walter (1883-1918) complements the reading quite well:

The blind man, bowed in sordid helplessness,
A sound of footsteps caught,
“The Healer comes,” they cried, and through the press
The hapless wretch they brought.
With wild hope born of uttermost distress,
The healing touch he sought.
A hand reached forth in potent tenderness—
The miracle was wrought.

Strangely he stares. “What does thou see?” they cry.
“I see men walk as trees.”
Again the cool hand strokes each aching eye,
The last dim shadow flees:
Not moving shapes but live men, drawing nigh,
Now far and clear he sees.
To each he tells how God’s own Son came by
And healed his dire disease.

Dungeoned by self, we too besought His hand
Our shuttered eyes to free.
His touch bestowed, dumb, stricken crowds we scanned,
And guessed their misery.
Lord Christ, Thy second touch our hearts demand,
Each separate soul to see.
His wounds to salve, his wants to understand,
And lead him home to Thee.

(Wednesday of Epiphany 4; cited in For All the Saints: A Prayer Book For and By the Church, volume I, page 334.)

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