Wrath Averted

Cascades of wrath descend on me.
Have done so all my life.
In the midst of life there was death—
Your hot breath upon me.
In the midst of my sin and guilt,
The fire of your love was my torture:
Cascades of wrath always upon me.

Now I cannot escape you,
Your eyes fixed upon me,
Warning of love that is a deeper torture
Than angry hate. Such hate you have not.
Your love is wrathful at my evil
And I cannot say you, ‘Nay!’
Nor raise a protest for my own protection.

If your wrath ceases then I am done.
I am a worm shrivelled, a creature burdened,
With no future love. I am lost
In the futility of your rejection,
Your refusal to honour me
With the fire of your wrath,
The cascades of burning zeal
That must tell me eternally
That you love this soul of mine.

How, Lord shall I escape?
How shall I emerge from the torment
Of your ceaseless love? How shall I regain
The pristine purity of spirit
In which you once created me?
Your wrath—my guilt—I surely know,
But how shall I escape, escape, escape?

Here in my Cross you must come—
Here when the crowd mocks maniacally
And calls this the judgment of my Father
To strike in fury at my mind and heart—
You must come and hide within me.
Be crucified with me, be one with me
For I have myself wholly to be
One with you. Hide in me
For the wrath is now cascading
Out of His heart of love.
All guilt and pain, all sorrow, heaviness,
Confusion of spirit, and foulness of pollution–
These are His wrath you feel.
Contempt and broken pride, sheer loneliness
That knows no loving friend—
These are the things of wrath
That burn within your conscience.

Ah, strong cascades that empty from
The Eternal Bosom, fall upon
The Son He loves, the beloved Son.
He bears that wrath since he is one with me
And all my dread and sorrow cease
In the wrath of love that bears on him
In place of me. Ah, blessed love
Of Father and of Son that shelter me
From wrath that’s truly mine,
The wrath I should endure.

Who can endure such wrath, O Man?
Be still whilst I endure.
See all your sins, your guilts and shames
Dissolve in my love, that love that bears for you
Its holy due. Cascades of human blood
Or blood of beasts cannot erase the shame
Of all the human race. There is no power
But this the holy love that hides you full
Whilst wrath’s full fires expend themselves
Upon my holy Self. Crucified you are with me
And risen in peerless purity
For all eternity. That’s love!

(Geoffrey Bingham)

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