Fear and Despair assemble in the Heart;
hold court with Doubt upon Wisdom’s grave.
Praise and Worship lie locked behind bars –
set them free, leave them be
to roam about with Peace again.
Justice is under new scrutiny
as Doubt, imperious, takes the Throne
and Fear holds a court of its own.
Deception cleverly fills in the gaps
of Sin’s sunken teeth and invisible traps.
But nails of a Roman Cross rise from the mud
and outline the flaws of Sin’s hold with blood.
It is written on every shard as it falls;
between Earth-Shaker’s music
the Sinner’s voice calls.
Now quakes the Assembly; no Fear holds its own
as a Heavenly Host envelops the Throne.
Justice sentences both Sin and Guilt
as with Garments of Praise the Heart is rebuilt.
Understanding and Wisdom hold hands as they come
and behind them comes Patience who has waited so long.
Then the Cross crashes into the Heart like a song
and divides and conquers the clamouring throng.
The wooden shards have pierced Despair,
and Darkness dissolves; now a River flows there.
The new Host assembles and here they all stand:
precise are both Patience and Self-Control.
Faithfulness hereby remembers all things
and with God’s companion, Wisdom, sings.
Joy bursts forth like a firework and dances
on a new grave now inscribed with this:
“Here lies the Law, here died the Sin.
Here fell every one that on Him was laid.
And may they never rise again.”
Now the way is prepared, but the door is yet locked.
The Heart is yet silent and lacking in love
until Prayer awakens to open the door.
Like a drawbridge, so lowers the Cross itself
and prepares the way for Salvation to dock.
The sound on the outside is heralds and trumpets,
then a gentle Voice is heard, and a knock.
A Prayer breaches the chasm wide
as the Sinner’s Heart lets Salvation inside.
Blinded by glory, the Assembly falls down
for before the One coming every virtue must bow.
The Great One is flanked on the left and the right:
quiet Hope holds a candle
and with something like sight
leads Faith by the hand who is blind.
Then, scorning the shame of the Cross,
crowned with thorns and the mockery
of many a Sinner who held not his tongue,
adorned with scars, enters LOVE,
and rightly the One who is LOVE takes His place.
The still Human Heart with joy starts to race.
Gone is every flaw and the ashes of every grave.
The Sinner has become a Saint, for LOVE came to save.
This new perfection none can mar,
but sometimes Sin still knocks at night –
Salvation unchanged, but virtues fall asleep;
new ashes obscure and now Fear creeps back in.
Sometimes Faith and Doubt can hold hands or grapple.
Sometimes Doubt is not followed by Sin.
LOVE announces, “Ask your questions,
for my love accepts you now.
It is every good thing without scorn.
Come, and I will take you to your place.
Only LOVE knows how to truly love;
here you are the righteous dawn to me.”
So speaks LOVE to the Human Heart.
“Come into my court and question all you want.
I assure you, my love will stand!”
Then Patience consoles, “It may yet take a while,
but eternity is on our side.
Salvation and LOVE are unconditional!
Come wait with me in the court of LOVE.”
The Human Heart grows faint with this love.
The Human Heart grows warm and awake,
though Doubt still knows what it can take.
But Hope and Faith are sentinels and speak:
Amid the noise of many courts, the Soul gives ear…
“We could all speak to you, one at a time,”
– Hope’s quiet voice ignites LOVE’s fire –
“and tell you the glory of looking on LOVE.
Between a man and a woman
or a father and child,
love in its truest form is always right
and no virtue is right without LOVE.
Invite LOVE into your house
and the whole Assembly of Virtues will follow.
Listen to them all, but listen first to LOVE.
Cross over to the Cross whenever you doubt
and leave the Assembly of Vices far behind.
LOVE is your freedom for eternity.
This is your Hope – this is who I am.
This is my gift to the human hearts.”
So speaks Hope and then floats to the rafters.
There it mingles with every good thing.
Then Truth with sword and shield comes in.
Truth opens the Word, but reads not of the Law:
“It is no longer yours to obey.”
But the Truth has yet Good News to display.
“You are LOVE’s first love, and LOVE’s last,” Truth says.
“LOVE always protects, always trusts, always hopes.
LOVE never fails you. No, LOVE never fails!
Nothing can tear you and true LOVE apart.”
So comforts Truth the Human Heart –
and the second Assembly, the final court,
choruses “Amen!” and bows low before
where LOVE bled and died for all humankind
and now lives to bleed no more.