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On Daniel 6 / On Passing Through

To think—that there is

            a liberty available only beyond discipline;
a freedom exhibited only in integrity;
            a new possibility for living, but only by passing through
that hard path of courage.

To remember—those who have gone before, and

            the liberty available to Daniel
out of his praise and prayer;
the freedom exhibited in a refusal—
      a refusal to fear law and order,
more than the honor of God;
the new possibility for life—
      “success,” even, dare we call it?—
but only by the passing through,
of a den of lions.

To be challenged then, to this—

to taste the sweets of gospel liberty,
through love and justice, mercy and prayer;
to know that exquisite, terrifying freedom,
of standing on your own two feet,
   straightening up your back,
      and saying what must be said,
to the one to whom it must be said;
to envision new possibilities for your life—
quiet in the knowledge that they cannot be seen from here,
but only there,
after you have done
your own passing through—

And having passed through,
may you discover a beauty you never dreamt
could be so sweet.


                                                            --LCC, 24 June 2019

Cover image: Daniel in the lion's den; Daniel surrounded by four lions who are not threatening him; the king clasps his hands in prayer and looks up to the sky; a human skull of one of the lion's victims in the foreground; after Willem van der Leeuw who etched after Peter Paul Rubens. After 1665 Engraving

© The Trustees of the British Museum


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