Saturday, November 12, 2011

Jessica Powers: Creature of God

One of the poets of my heart is Jessica Powers (1905-1988) a Carmelite nun whose beautiful, prayerful poems are rich in evocative imagery. They remind me a good bit of George Herbert's poems though they are also wildly and wonderfully unique.

If you'll forgive the pun, Powers often speaks powerfully to my heart. I go back often to my dog-eared copy of her collected poems. Even when I haven't visited the book in a while, something will trigger a memory of a line or an image and I find myself back there again.

Last night such a trigger came when I found myself musing, in a tired way, about my own finiteness. Not in the ultimate sense, but in the ordinary, daily grind kind of way. I think the way I expressed it to a friend was that lately I keep feeling like I'm going THUMP against the walls of my finiteness, my limitations, wherever I turn.

And then I remembered Jessica Power's poem "Creature of God." And I remembered that even on those days when I seem to be running into walls left and right, I can go to God...just as I am, finite, limited, broken and all...and stand bathed in the vastness of his love and grace. He meets me there. It's there that he gathers me into his arms.

Creature of God

That God stands tall, incomprehensible,
infinite and immutable and free,
I know. Yet more I marvel that His call
trickles and thunders down through space to me;

that from His far eternities He shouts
to me, one small inconsequence of day.
I kneel down in the vastness of His love,
cover myself with creaturehood and pray.

God likes me covered with my creaturehood
and with my limits spread across His face.
He likes to see me lifting to His eyes
even the wretchedness that dropped His grace.

I make no guess what greatness took me in,
I only know, and relish it as good,
that I am gathered more to God's embrace
the more I greet Him through my creaturehood.

~Jessica Powers

3 comments:

E Louise Bates said...

"I kneel down in the vastness of his love, cover myself with creaturehood and pray."

What a beautiful line, a beautiful prayer for this Sunday morning. Thank you for sharing.

Beth said...

So glad it blessed you! Hope you've had a beautiful Sunday!

OlDave said...

" I go back often to my dog-eared copy of her collected poems."

I wonder if you could say which collection of her poems you think would be the one to get. Thank you.