HAPPY Magdelene, to whom
Christ the Lord vouchsaf’d t’appear!
Newly risen from the Tomb,
Would He first be seen by Her?
Her by seven Devils possest,
Till his Word the fiends expell’d;
Quench’d the Hell within her Breast,
All her Sins and Sickness heal’d.
– Charles Wesley, Hymn III, Hymns for our Lord’s Resurrection
In a time of solitude last week, I reflected on this stanza from Charles Wesley and wrote the following poem. This is a reflection on what it feels like on my worst days when the “Hell within [my] Breast” gets the louder word. There is hope buried in the poem, though. Here it goes:
Hell is not a place
but a face.
Hell is not a he or she
hell is me.
Hell is in me.
Hell is the place my sick heart tabernacles
unaware of fiendish shackles
by the One who fixed it.
Hell is the sick heart – at the start –
which fell apart
like fragile art
placed neatly into childish hands
who could not know the Artist’s plans
for, lack of listening to instruction
historically leads to mass destruction.
Hell is each thought, each word, each deed
which is performed out of the need, to
win and take and force my druthers
that always ends up costing others
and satisfies a deeper lust
become the God I must
have been made to be.