marbled background, image by Milena Mazurek, on Pixabay, modified
Longing for the Infinite, Finding the Finite
“The soul must long for God in order to be set aflame by God’s love;
but if the soul cannot yet feel the longing, then it must long for the
longing. To long for the longing is also from God.”
Without settling for any tepid,
half-hearted and stifling control,
resisting the lure of the superficial
and the dull momentum of apathy,
the human soul inherently longs
for the love of its perfect Source
and for the Beauty that remains
after all the shadows have passed.
This gracious, gutsy longing for God
opens out into a full immersion
into the labyrinth of human life,
for the Infinite involves the finite
as a mother pregnant with hope.
No ethereal ache or fantasy desire,
the heart is restless for the Sacred
Heart for which it was utterly made.
Without clutching or clinging to
the finite, the yearning soul
abandons otherworldly escapes
for an unrestricted personal plunge
into the woven intimacies of living
in this near side of all infinities;
submergence in all finitudes is
a concealed soul-stretch for God.
Yeshua’s Shalom is God’s goal,
a graced wholeness, for us
in the nomadic deserts of our days
and the dark nights of our souls,
a blessing in the coldness of time,
a share in such godly stillness.
The fire-forged, sacred Shalom
bears the forever stigmata scars
held in a divinely borne silence
in harmony with truth and peace,
a cosmic and personally social
Shalom in all comings & goings,
the very attribute and attitude
of God incarnated full-scale,
in the midst of timely faith,
into the hearts of devotees
of Yeshua, the source of all
Shalom from here to eternity,
from depths of infinite calm.
(Previously published in Dr. Altany's book,
A Beautiful Absurdity: Christian Poetry of the Sacred)
Dr. Alan Altany is a partially retired, septuagenarian
college professor of religious studies and theology
who is still teaching. He has been a factory worker, swineherd on a farm, hotel clerk, lawn maintenance
worker, high school teacher, editor of a small magazine
of poetry, director of religious education for churches,
truck driver, and novelist, among other things. In 2022,
he published a book of poetry, A Beautiful Absurdity: Christian Poetry of the Sacred. His website is: https://www.alanaltany.com/.
(Dr. Altany pictured here with Zeke.)