Through one man Paradise was lost.
Through another it was regained.
As the cloak of darkness encircled the earth,
as it fell silent the rescue plan was initiated.
The one who had been there since the beginning
came down and chose our form.
Hands that had flung stars into space now
accepted all the constraints of those he had created.
Paradise is regained through him.
He entered our world as helpless as us.
Born into a borrowed stable with no family and friends.
So quiet was the manner of his birth the Angels
had to announce it instead.
But this announcement was not to the great and the good.
Instead it came to humble men.
Men estranged from society living their life out in the open.
But yet they knew.
There was no great proclamation for this heir.
No great audience with the powerful heads of government and state.
He was not even recognised in his home country.
Instead men from afar started their own journey of faith to find him.
And find him they did as time and space watched on.
Homage was made, and gifts given. Gifts that pointed to the future.
But even at this tender age death stalked him.
So into exile he went.
Retracing the steps of generations long ago forgotten.
Stepping into life as a refugee.
He knew the struggles of growing up, the struggle of loss.
He gathered a group of rejected misfits around him.
Those he called friends who others would cross the road to avoid.
He spoke wisdom in riddles to those that had an ear.
The great and the good were appalled at who he associated with.
They stayed away afraid of this contagion.
But those who knew their need accepted him with open arms and tears.
Then one day the heads of government and state
could stand his insurrection of peace no more.
They hung him on a tree for telling the truth, for pointing the way.
But the authorities of earth did not keep him there.
It was not their bindings that restrained him.
I was the one who kept him there,
as heaven fell silent and darkness swept in.
Ready to claim the victory it mistakenly thought it was due.
This rescue requires restitution.
A life for a life.
All I need to do is to recognise there is nothing I can do.
All I need to do is to recognise that I built the barrier between us.
To recognise that he took the initiative to break it down.
To recognise that he wants the relationship restored.
To recognise that to achieve life the penalty has to be paid.
A life for a life.
Only he can pay it on my behalf.
My best is but filthy rags.
And so is Paradise regained.
This poem came about as a result of the monthly poetry challenge instigated by a poetry group I go to. This month the challenge was to write a poem inspired by Milton’s Paradise Lost as we were going to have our meeting in the cottage in Chalfont St. Giles where the English poet & parliamentarian John Milton lived from 1665 to 1667.
This poem is the companion piece to Paradise Lost which was the result of the above challenge.
Whilst Paradise Lost looks at how we are all responsible for losing our own version of paradise by what we think and do, this poem concentrates on what Christ did to resolve the situation. This is the core message of Easter – hence I’m publishing so close to Easter Sunday.