Pr. Petersen was kind enough to send me a most consoling volume of poems by Canadian pastor, Kurt Reinhardt of the LCC: My Light and My Salvation. First, it's downright beautiful. A hardback book, sporting that arresting image of Christ on the cover. The image was created by none other than famous Catholic novelist Michael D. O'Brien (of Father Elijah fame - if you haven't read him, you need to!). There's a fine forward by Dr. Stephensen and then a preface by the author himself that begins:
"As a child I was always afraid of the dark. I was sure that something was waiting to get me at the top of the dark staircase in my childhood home; the only thing that made the journey possible was to have someone with me. Now that I am all grown up I am terrified of the dark. For I know what it is that waits for me in the darkness, prowling around like a roaring lion looking to devour me. The only thing that still makes the journey possible is to have Someone beside me."
And it just gets better from there.
Here's the sample that Pr. Petersen posted up on his website:
Lost in the Terror of the Night
by Kurt Reinhardt c. 2008
Lost in the terror of the night,
The thorns had caught me in my flight,
My bleating cries would soon be still,
The wolf was circling for the kill.
But then His voice came on the wind:
“My precious Lamb, I know you’ve sinned,
Yet I have come to seek the lost,
To rescue them at any cost.”
He traced my path into the wild,
His heart set on His wayward child,
Until He found me where I lay,
His foolish sheep that went astray.
Into the thorns He stretched His arm
With boundless love, enduring harm,
His hands were cut and pierced for me
To break the snare and set me free.
With tender mercy I’m held fast;
Around His neck, now safe at last,
My shepherd bears me through the night
Towards the joy of dawning light.
Is that powerful or what? It's poetry like the above that fills this volume. I've not read it all yet, but every piece I've read has breathed the same Gospel comfort to troubled, frightened people. If you're thinking about a gift for someone for this Christmas that will help them face whatever darkness is upon them at present, this little volume opens their eyes to see that they don't journey into the dark alone. There is Someone beside them indeed.
"I've lived the trials of the night,
So child, you need not fear;
I'm your salvation and your light
And I am ever near.
"I've climbed the grievous mountain way,
Your help through life to be;
I will not slumber night or day
Until you're home with me."
You'll want it. I know I need to order some. Check for more info at: