I had an image in my mind

I had an image in my mind 
Of somewhere good and pure and clear,
A scent of Eden, hope enshrined
In heaven’s glow.
I begged for strength and will to journey there.
But God said, “No.”

So I retreated, searched the stars,
And settled a more modest aim—
A place where wounds might bloom to scars—
Nor small nor great.
At last the hour for leaving shyly came.
But God said, “Wait.”

Then down through maelstrom I must gasp,
And scrape each tortured crag and fell,
Where sneering sinners bray and rasp
And curses bless.
“Will home,” I asked, “now prove a butcher’s hell?”
But God said, “Yes.”

Sometimes the Lord with happiness delights;
Sometimes He sends despair and endless nights.
Sometimes the Lord a killer will condemn;
Sometimes, like Abram, killer He makes him.
Sometimes with gold His children He adorns,
	Sometimes with simple gown,
	Or crown of thorns.