From The Pastor At St. Paul's UCC, Freeburg, IL

WWI Poetry

I heard this poem recently, quoted by D.A. Carson.  It was written shortly after World War I, the most bloody and futile war of our time. One result of that war was a flowering of poetry – the fruit of blood soaked conflict. It recalls Thomas seeing Jesus’ scars; and I think it’s appropriate for Lent.

Jesus of the Scars

If we have never sought, we seek Thee now;
Thine eyes burn through the dark, our only stars;
We must have sight of thorn-pricks on Thy brow;
We must have Thee, O Jesus of the Scars.

The heavens frighten us; they are too calm;
In all the universe we have no place.
Our wounds are hurting us; where is the balm?
Lord Jesus, by Thy Scars we claim Thy grace.

If when the doors are shut, Thou drawest near,
Only reveal those hands, that side of Thine;
We know today what wounds are; have no fear;
Show us Thy Scars; we know the countersign.

The other gods were strong, but Thou wast weak;
They rode, but Thou didst stumble to a throne;
But to our wounds only God’s wounds can speak,
And not a god has wounds, but Thou alone.

Edward Shillito

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