There are many gods and one God. How shall we find him?
The search is not ours; foot without nerve-message is a dead limb.
The desire of the drop is a wind which keeps it in motion;
So long as the wind blows, the drop is seeking the ocean.
When the ocean’s love-pull is greater than the wind which sends it
The drop falls back into the ocean. Journey? There ends it.
Each one must await the wind of his beloved’s word—
A wind scented with roses and sharper than a sword.
It is said, God is nearer to one than one’s own breath;
It is said, He is the breather—eternal, beyond death.
The truth is, we cannot see that which we already are;
We cannot travel to ourselves, only to some blind star.
When the wind of love’s word blows, the lover in the dust sings;
When the rain of love’s grace falls, the verdure of dust’s heart springs.
Out of our very need and dryness springs the wind of love which brings the rain of love’s response. Even the wind of desire is the gift of grace.
The search is not ours any more than the foot can act without nerve impulses from the brain. Francis is speaking here of high mysteries but he keeps up the very matter-of-fact tone. Images of roses and sword give immediacy to the experience.
The journey of the self to the self is one we cannot make, even though we can make distant journeys through space.
It is He who gives the wind of inspiration but we in the dust can sing as it stirs us. With the miracle of God’s grace the dust can give birth to new life.
The gods are many but God alone leads to God, beyond all our objects of thought and imagination. He is closer to us than our own breath but He is the only revealer.
Once more the scrupulous emptying of self is conveyed by Francis with conciseness and clarity.
As Stanza 2 and 3 make plain our desire for Him powers our journey but it His dynamic of grace that makes dissolving in the ocean possible.