Re: Concordist sequence--why be a concordist? (off list)

From: Iain Strachan (
Date: Sun Jun 29 2003 - 16:47:31 EDT

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    Sheila asks:
    > >God. How can we show how great God is if
    > >we all live in poverty?

    I think the following poem, by Nigerian writer Ben Okri (not a Christian)
    perhaps shows us what we should aspire to in this materialistic world. I
    think it answers your question. The poem made a profound impression on me,
    and was also used some years back in our Church as the "epigraph" quotes for
    a sermon series.

    It is not a Christian view; it is adapted from Okri's Booker-Prize winning
    novel "The Famished Road", which is more about African spirit-world
    religions. But I think it should teach us a thing or two.

    An African Elegy

    by Ben Okri.

    We are the miracles that God made
    To taste the bitter fruit of Time
    We are precious.
    And one day our suffering
    Will turn into the wonders of the earth.

    There are things that burn me now
    Which turn golden when I am happy.
    Do you see the mystery of our pain?
    That we bear poverty
    And are able to sing and dream sweet things

    And that we never curse the air when it is warm
    Or the fruit when it tastes so good
    Or the lights that bounce gently on the waters?
    We bless things even in our pain
    We bless them in silence.

    That is why our music is so sweet.
    It makes the air remember.
    There are secret miracles at work
    That only Time will bring forth.
    I too have heard the dead singing.

    And they tell me that
    This life is good
    They tell me to live it gently
    With fire, and always with hope.
    There is wonder here

    And there is surprise
    In everything the unseen moves.
    The ocean is full of songs.
    The sky is not an enemy.
    Destiny is our friend.


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