I got somethin’ make the devil gonna run*

I was having a glum-ish week until I received a package from my oldest, dearest friend containing several small tidbits and two books, a murder mystery by Marion Chesney, aka M.C. Beaton of Hamish Macbeth fame, and a short biography of Lawrence of Arabia by Alistair MacLean, no less!

Where does she find these treasures? Why would Alistair MacLean write a (children’s?) book about T.E. Lawrence? So many questions — the mind reels. I started reading the mystery this morning and it promises to be thoroughly enjoyable. I’m saving the bio for when I need a special treat. Seriously.

Among the other items in my unexpected gift-box were two that particularly struck me. The first was a page from the First Presbyterian Church bulletin describing the life and works of Rev. Elijah P. Lovejoy, the very Christian activist about whom my DP posted earlier. Synchronicity! Or great minds think alike… In any case, I think it’s cool that Rev. Lovejoy is finally getting some attention.

The second item in the box was a poem from Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore:

Thou hast made me known to friends whom I knew not. Thou hast given me seats in homes not my own. Thou hast brought the distant near and made a brother of the stranger.

I am uneasy at heart when I have to leave my accustomed shelter; I forget that there abides the old in the new, and that there also thou abidist.

Through birth and death, in this world or in others, wherever thou leadest me it is thou, the same, the one companion of my endless life whoever linkest my heart with bonds of joy to the unfamiliar.

When one knows thee, then alien there is none, then no door is shut. Oh, grant me my prayer that I many never lose the bliss of the touch of the one in the play of the many.

My mother first introduced me to Rabindranath Tagore, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, but I hadn’t read any of his work for a ages. How perfect that my dear friend should remind me of this connection. I went online and found Gitanjali here. I particularly like this passage:

My desires are many and my cry is pitiful, but ever didst thou save me by hard refusals; and this strong mercy has been wrought into my life through and through.

I think we all need to remember that hard refusals can save us, and what seems unfair may be exactly the strong mercy we need. I also loved this passage:

Leave this chanting and singing and telling of beads! Whom dost thou worship in this lonely dark corner of a temple with doors all shut? Open thine eyes and see thy God is not before thee!

He is there where the tiller is tilling the hard ground and where the path-maker is breaking stones. He is with them in sun and in shower, and his garment is covered with dust. Put off thy holy mantle and even like him come down in the dusty soil!

Having steeped myself in Tagore’s poetry, I took a break at Youtube, where I found some rousing Christian music, including this great one by Crowder:

Run, Devil, run!

Have a wonderful weekend, and find joy in everything!

*Crowder “Run, Devil, run”