as nothing…

“Let none of all the affections of thy soul have so much life and being in them,
as those that are exercised upon God.

Worms and moats are not regarded in comparison of mountains; a drop is not regarded in comparison of the ocean. Let the being of God take up thy soul, and draw off thy observation from deluding vanities, as if there were no such things before thee.

When thou rememberest that there is a God, kings and nobles, riches and honors, and all the world, should be forgotten in comparison of Him; and thou shouldst live as if there were no such things, if God appear not to thee in them. See them as if thou didst not see them, as thou seest a candle before the sun; or a pile of grass, or a particle of dust, in comparison with the earth. Hear them as if thou didst not hear them; as thou hearest the leaves of the shaken tree, at the same time with a clap of thunder.

As greatest things obscure the least, so let the being of the infinite God so take up all the powers of thy soul, as if there were nothing else but he, when anything would draw thee from him. O if the being of this God were seen by thee, thy seducing friend would scarcely be seen, thy riches and honors would be forgotten;

all things would be as nothing to thee in comparison of Him.”

– Richard Baxter, Sermon: “The Saint’s Everlasting Rest”

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…”in the great hands of your heart”

I am praying again. Awesome One.

You hear me again, as words
from the depths of me
rush toward you in the wind.

I’ve been scattered in pieces,
torn by conflict,
mocked by laughter,
washed down in drink.

In alleyways I sweep myself up
out of garbage and broken glass.
With my half-mouth I stammer you,
who are eternal in your symmetry.
I lift to you my half-hands
in wordless beseeching, that I may find again
the eyes with which I once beheld you.

I am a house gutted by fire
where only the guilty sometimes sleep
before the punishment that devours them
hounds them out into the open.

I am a city by the sea
sinking into a toxic tide.
I am strange to myself, as thought someone unknown
had poisoned my mother as she carried me.

It’s here in all the pieces of my shame
that now I find myself again.
I yearn to belong to something, to be contained
in an all-embracing mind that sees me
as a single thing.
I yearn to be held
in the great hands of your heart-
oh let them take me now.

Into them I place these fragments, my life,
and you, God-spend them however you want.

-Rainer Maria Rilke “Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God”