“The latter splendor of this house shall be greater than the former, says the LORD of hosts; and in this place I will give prosperity, says the LORD of hosts.” – Haggai 2:9
With Zerubbabel and with Joshua
imagination stands and weeps to see
the scattered blocks of stone once standing proud,
now scattered with the blackened ruined beams.
A few would then recall those stones erect,
those beams above, a roof embellished with
a gilded glow. No doubt they wept and wept
to see their memory cast down in ash.
Imagination, yes, but also I
have seen the ruined churches, heiau – razed
sometimes by accidental flames, sometimes
by hands’ deliberate destructive force.
I turn to Zerubbabel and I turn
to Joshua, and part of me, so up
to here with things to fix and clean and paint,
the bulbs and window glass and water spouts,
Cries out, “Do you not see how you are blessed
to have no structure to maintain, no house
exacting so much toil, so much gold,
demanding much more worship than our God?”
Then silently and softly, Haggai’s God
replies, “Take courage, child of mine, despite
the costs and worries, for these houses make
a home for those who join their hearts in prayer.
“These spirits seek a shelter from the blast
of circumstance and ill intent, and so
we raise these walls of stone and wood and glass
to make for souls a refuge and a home.”
A poem/prayer based on Haggai 1:15b-2:9, the Revised Common Lectionary First reading for Year C, Proper 27.
Photo by Eric Anderson.