Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Week of Love...a poem

" Be reckless, free and open with your love. Our two children need more love than either I or my wife are able to give. They also need your love to be whole in life. Let me illustrate this by telling you a story from the life of Toyohiko Kagawa, the late Japanese Christian who made so many important contributions to religious education in Japan. On one occasion, in the slums of Japan, he found a baby who had been thrown away. It was customary then to throw babies away when parents couldn't take care of them. When he saw this little baby girl in the filth of the gutter, he picked her up and took her to his home. He called her, for lack of knowing her real name, Little Ishi (It means Rock or Stone--Debi) He knew the child was dying, she was cold and struggled for each breath. He held the little child in his arms and wept. And as his warm tears of love fell upon the child's face, they shocked her back to life. He then sat down and wrote this poem.

'I am sodden with sleep
But I wake with my starling's fretful cries.
Thin dirty little baby
Wailing with pain all the while.
She is ill, Little Ishi-
Life has abused her so.
Safe from the one who meant to kill,
Fever has made her low.
Through the night I laboured to save her.
We two are all alone.
Sharp in the fearful stillness,
The neighbor's clock struck one.
Why is the world so cruel?
Seen with Ishi's eyes,
The earth and all the things in it
Is a mountain pile of ice.
Oh, to be taught what to do.
Men are consoled by their women,
But this scrap in my heart lies shriveled-
Dull from the junk heap.
And the strong man who holds her cries.
Why are you quiet, Ishi?
Why are your eyes shut? Why?
Wait, oh wait, little sick one.
It is too soon for you to die.
Cry again, Little Ishi. 
Cry once more, once more.
What will it take to make you wake?
For I cannot let you go.
I call but you do not hear me.
I clasp you, but you do not move.
It is not to pain I would bring you again.
There is love in the world. There is love
Will she not cry?
Here in my close embrace, I kiss her wan lips-
growning grayer. My drawn face touches her face.
Fast are my frightened tears falling,
Falling on Ishi's eyes.
With her cold, still tears, they are mingled
Oh, God! At Last! She cries.'

Because of the love of this one man, the little child lived. Someone has said, and rightly so, that the only problem with all our love is that it has been either too late or too small. Now is the time as the committed people of our Lord Jesus to correct our smallness to match His Bigness. 



Kristi said...

that is an amazing, moving story and poem.