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He asks God to overthrow him, to force His way so as to make new the man who has been in the keeping of the enemy. The last lines, “I, except you enthrall me, never shall be free, nor ever chaste, except you ravish me,” affected me deeply.
As a new Christian, I sometimes wondered if there would be anything left of me once God was done purifying, re-making, knocking down walls, and having His way with the interior space of my soul. I thought of my husband and sons messing up my actual home as the only metaphor sufficient to convey a) how awful, how unbearable, how threatening this ravishing husbandry of God’s felt, and b) how willing, how trusting, how sure in His goodness I wanted to be in the face of it.
What no man could do without violating me, God could accomplish with perfect, loving sovereignty for my good. Amen!
I’ll not be chaste unless You ravish me.
Oer’take the gate, bars, door and wooden shield –
Defenses threat’ning death – first breach them and then
Pry open long shut doors to cob-webbed rooms.
Stomp, if need be, in muddy boots across
Daintily flowered rugs, bodily break
All impedimenta; spare no cluttered corner,
Pretense of fashion, comforting cubby,
Mem’ry-stuffed pigeonhole, or laden surface,
But burn all and all reduce to ashes,
Essential air; empty; breathing, fill; sustain
Space laid to waste; impress and violate;
Vanquishing, rescue; seize what is your own;
Transport, and in my ravishment, rejoice!
All the poems are now in one volume, and I’d love for you to have a copy! Click on the cover to buy it, and click here for the recordings of all the poems.