I am currently arranging a funeral for a dearly loved member of our congregation. Her son has given me a note book to browse through which contains handwritten passages from Scripture, verses of poetry, song words and personal stories. This precious note book is like another window into the soul of this wonderful woman.
It was a verse of poetry that caught my attention. Only the first stanza of the poem was recorded in the book, but I have found the whole poem.
'Calm Soul of all Things' by Matthew Arnold (1822-1888)
Calm soul of all things! make it mine
To feel, amid the city's jar,
That there abides a peace of thine,
Man did not make, nor cannot mar!
The will to neither strive nor cry,
The power to feel with others give!
Calm, calm me more! nor let me die
Before I have begun to live.
What beautiful words! That calm that is in our souls that cannot be altered by external factors or our own moods is for what I strive. The poem indicates that real life is known when we realize that deep calm within. This is not a calm that we can contrive or create for ourselves. It is a Divine gift. I know in my role, I often rely on this calm peace within to get me through some very tough times. A calm centre allows me to be fully present for others.
What a wonderful gift to receive so unexpectedly from a wise woman. Thank you!