Ineffable journey

This poem-prayer comes from Philip J. Bennett of Fostoria, Ohio. An excerpt from his letter gives some sense of his journey, which he generously shares with us: "The past six years have been my time of silence -- a time for prayer, a time for thought, a time to listen to God and man. As I listen to God, I receive hope out of inescapable despair; from man I hear mostly a college of confusion, ignorance, sin, arrogance, and ultimate despair, which drives me once again into the Silence to God for assurance and hope ... You are, therefore, an ember in a smoldering fire to me. You may be enough to rekindle a flame ..."

Ineffable Journey
(up to third heaven)

Fluttering wings descend on me,
To calm and cool my anxiety
That rages in my spirit which burns;
For God's outstretched hand it yearns.

Fluttering wings drive the wind;
And by it, to heave I ascend
Where the breath of God falls on me
Like waves of unimaginable ecstasy.

Fluttering wings have carried me
Far beyond the borders of credulity
To where eyes have seen and ears have heard
The reality of the Living Word.

in the stillness of the quiet,
if we listen
we can hear the whisper
in the heart
giving strength to weakness,
courage to fear,
hope to despair ...

~ from "Meditations of the Heart" by Howard Thurman