CAN YOU IMAGINE?
Do you ever, as I sometimes do, try to picture where we can go when we pray, that very different level; what it is like there? Do you try to probe deeper into all the vibrant wonder and our mystic joining with unseen reality?
by Walter Rauschenbusch - one of my favorite Baptists
In the castle of my soul
Is a postern gate,
Whereat, when I enter,
I am the presence of God.
In a moment, in the turning of a thought,
I am where God is,
This is a fact….
With God is a great silence.
But that silence is a melody
Sweet as the contentment of love,
Thrilling as a touch of flame.
In this world my days are few
And full of trouble.
I strive and have not;
I seek and find not;
I ask and learn not . . . .
When I enter into God,
All life has meaning.
Without asking, I know;
My desires are even now fulfilled,
My fever is gone.
In the great quiet of God
My troubles are but pebbles on the road,
My joys are like the everlasting hills….
So it is when I step through the gate of prayer
From time into eternity.
When I am in the consciousness of God,
My fellowmen are not far-off and forgotten,
But close and strangely dear . . . .
They shine, as if a light were glowing within them.
Even those who frown on me
And love me not
Seem part of the great scheme of God . . . .
So it is when my soul steps through the postern gate
Into the presence of God.
Big things become small, and small things become great.
The near becomes far, and the future is near,
The lowly and despised are shot through with glory…
God is the substance of all revolutions;
When I am in him, I am in the Kingdom of God
And in the Fatherland of my Soul.
Is it strange that I love God?
And when I come back through the gate,
Do you wonder that I carry memories with me,
And my eyes are hot with unshed tears for what I see.
And I feel like a stranger and a homeless man
Where the poor are wasted for gain,
Where rivers run red,
And where God’s sunlight is darkened by lies?
— Walter Rauschenbusch, 1918