Peaceful Brooding

I’ve been a bit restless lately, and it’s had me thinking about peace (or lack thereof). Last night I was continuing my slow sojourn through an anthology of Gerard Manley Hopkins‘ poetry, and I came across his poem ‘Peace.’ I love the last line: peace is not an end, it isn’t about being comfortable–it allows us to live life, patiently resting on God’s goodness as we wait for His return.

When will you ever, Peace, wild wooddove, shy wings shut,
Your round me roaming end, and under be my boughs?
When, when, Peace, will you, Peace? I’ll not play hypocrite
To own my heart: I yield you do come sometimes; but
That piecemeal peace is poor peace. What pure peace allows
Alarms of wars, the daunting wars, the death of it?

O surely, reaving Peace, my Lord should leave in lieu
Some good! And so he does leave Patience exquisite,
That plumes to Peace thereafter. And when Peace here does house
He comes with work to do, he does not come to coo,
He comes to brood and sit.

‘Peace,’ Gerard Manley Hopkins (1879)

It reminds me of Philippians 4: don’t be anxious, but pray–the upshot being, keep praying until you aren’t anxious anymore, and as long as you’re anxious, pray. Likewise, I’m praying for pure peace, until God gives me that which broods and sits.

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