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.