Touched by an Angel

Week 42, Day 4

Further reflections on Genesis 32

I don't know whether Maya Angelou had Jacob's story in mind when she wrote this poem, but it wouldn't surprise me if she had. I think she captures well here Jacob's experience of being released from his feelings of fear, failure and regret. In the middle of the darkest night, sometimes anyway, Love arrives and "strikes away the chains of fear from our souls". That can happen when you are touched by an angel.

Touched by an Angel Maya Angelou

We, unaccustomed to courage

exiles from delight

live coiled in shells of loneliness

until love leaves its high holy temple

and comes into our sight

to liberate us into life.

Love arrives

and in its train come ecstasies

old memories of pleasure

ancient histories of pain.

Yet if we are bold,

love strikes away the chains of fear

from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity

In the flush of love's light

we dare be brave

And suddenly we see

that love costs all we are

and will ever be.

Yet it is only love

which sets us free.

Prayer: When we are lost in our darkness and chained to our fear, Generous God, we need your touch. Only love can set us free. You are only love. Liberate us into life we pray. Amen.

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