Poem – Afraid

4 10 2010

A few people in the congregation have requested the poem that was read during the weekend services on September 25-26.  Here is the intro followed by the poem:

Ben Fielding and Lee Quan (pronounced chwan) were college roommates at Harvard University.  Ben, a professing Christian, invited Quan, an atheist, to a campus ministry meeting, where Quan accepted the Lord.  After college, Quan went back to China to become a professor, and Ben became a high powered business man.  Quan soon found that his Christian faith made it impossible for him to get a teaching job in China.  Ben became enamored with his success and walked away from the Lord, divorced his wife and pursued the American Dream.

Their paths crossed 20 years later when Ben was sent to China on a business research project.  During Ben’s visit, Quan was arrested for leading an underground church and thrown in jail.  The subsequent months found Ben fighting to get his old friend out of prison.  Quan, rather than trying to get out, rejoiced in the privilege of suffering for the sake of Christ.  Through Quan’s witness, Ben recommitted his life to the Lord. On Ben’s last visit to the jail before he was deported from China, Quan quoted this poem to Ben…

Afraid? Of what?

To feel the spirit’s glad release?

To pass from pain to perfect peace,

The strife and strain of life to case?

Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?

Afraid to see the Savior’s face

To hear His welcome, and to trace

The glory gleam from wounds of grace?

Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?

A flash, a crash, a pierced heart

Brief darkness, Light, O Heaven’s art!

A wound of His counterpart!

Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?

To enter into Heaven’s rest

And yet to serve the Master blessed?

From service good to service best?

Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?

To do by death what life could not –

Baptize with blood a stony plot,

Till souls shall blossom from the spot?

Afraid? Of that?

– E.H. Hamilton


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