The Sons Of Martha
July 15, 2012 7 Comments
The other day when I was nominating blogs for the awards I passed on, I was able to say something about the superb blogs I nominated. It was not overly proper to say all that much about those who nominated me.
One of them is All Along the Watchtower. If you are interested in church history before the Great Schism of 1054, the differences (as well as similarities) between our various traditions, doctrinal origins and all things Christian, you will enjoy it.
The proprietress, Jessica Hoff has become a close blogfriend of mine. She’s gorgeous, intelligent, rapier sharp, fun, knowledgeable, and erudite. She’s also the wife of a British officer serving in Afghanistan, which never hurts with me either.
So, a few days ago when I suggested that I would be rerunning some of my posts that I thought made points that need to be remade, I asked if my readers had any favorites that they would like to see up again. Jess did, as did her co-writer Chalcedon 451. This is one they both suggested. So this one is for you, Maam.
You all know by now how much I like Kipling. The reason is that he tell timeless truths in a way that we can all understand. Here’s another one:
The Sons of Mary seldom bother, for they have inherited that good part;
But the Sons of Martha favour their Mother of the careful soul and the troubled heart.
And because she lost her temper once, and because she was rude to the Lord her Guest,
Her Sons must wait upon Mary’s Sons, world without end, reprieve, or rest.
It is their care in all the ages to take the buffet and cushion the shock.
It is their care that the gear engages; it is their care that the switches lock.
It is their care that the wheels run truly; it is their care to embark and entrain,
Tally, transport, and deliver duly the Sons of Mary by land and main.
They say to mountains “Be ye removèd.” They say to the lesser floods “Be dry.”
Under their rods are the rocks reprovèd—they are not afraid of that which is high.
Then do the hill-tops shake to the summit—then is the bed of the deep laid bare,
That the Sons of Mary may overcome it, pleasantly sleeping and unaware.
They finger Death at their gloves’ end where they piece and repiece the living wires.
He rears against the gates they tend: they feed him hungry behind their fires.
Early at dawn, ere men see clear, they stumble into his terrible stall,
And hale him forth like a haltered steer, and goad and turn him till evenfall.
To these from birth is Belief forbidden; from these till death is Relief afar.
They are concerned with matters hidden—under the earthline their altars are—
The secret fountains to follow up, waters withdrawn to restore to the mouth,
And gather the floods as in a cup, and pour them again at a city’s drouth.
They do not preach that their God will rouse them a little before the nuts work loose.
They do not preach that His Pity allows them to drop their job when they damn-well choose.
As in the thronged and the lighted ways, so in the dark and the desert they stand,
Wary and watchful all their days that their brethren’s ways may be long in the land.
Raise ye the stone or cleave the wood to make a path more fair or flat;
Lo, it is black already with the blood some Son of Martha spilled for that!
Not as a ladder from earth to Heaven, not as a witness to any creed,
But simple service simply given to his own kind in their common need.
And the Sons of Mary smile and are blessèd—they know the Angels are on their side.
They know in them is the Grace confessèd, and for them are the Mercies multiplied.
They sit at the feet—they hear the Word—they see how truly the Promise runs.
They have cast their burden upon the Lord, and—the Lord He lays it on Martha’s Sons!
I know perfectly well where I fit in this poem, if you don’t, well, I think you need to read it again.
An addendum: Today is the one year anniversary of Nebraska Energy Observer, so thank you to the 15K+ of you that have visited and especially for the 1,949 comments. I value you all and I’m still looking for input on posts you’d like to see again.