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How Shallow Former Shadows Seem

The final poem from our Good Friday joint service this morning:

How shallow former shadows seem beside this great reverse,
As darkness swallows up the Light of all the universe:
Creation shivers at the shock; the Temple rends its veil;
A pallid stillness stifles time; and nature’s motions fail.

This is no mid-day fantasy, no flight of fevered brain.
With vengeance awful, grim, and real, chaos is come again:
The hands that formed us from the soil are nailed upon the cross;
The Word that gave us life and breath expires in utter loss.

Yet deep within this darkness lives a Love so fierce and free
That arcs all voids and—risk supreme!—embraces agony.
Its perfect testament is etched in iron, blood, and wood;
With awe we glimpse its true import and dare to call it good.

~How Shallow Former Shadows Seem – Carl P. Daw, Jr. 1990