His Greatest Seal: Poems by the Rev. Francis Quintin-Arthur

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How Very Rough the Way That Leads to You, Lord

Lord, What About Them?
Your Way, Not Mine
As We Forgive Those …
Your Way, How Crooked!
Wise Guy
No Hurt in Heart
Why This Road?
Crossed Woods
My Little Cross

Lord, What About Them?

What about those
For whom you go out of your way
And do all you can for them—
All that is within your means
Just to make them happy
Then when you make a tiny mistake
They forget all the good you’ve done for them
Dwelling on just that one mistake
And present you as a terrible person
Even though you brought a lot of smiles into their lives
Lord, what about them?

Your Way, Not Mine

From the comfort of my home, O Lord
You put me on this rough and narrow road
A road as long as it is dark
With piercing thorns and winding curves

On my frail shoulder they’ve dumped my cross
Which I embrace with approving tears
I see some along this same road
They roughly push and manhandle me
But most help me carry my cross
And offer a cup to quench my thirst
Some wonder how I can bear this cross
With so much strength and gracefulness
My strength is in you and in you alone
It is your hand that leads me on
It is your grace that makes me smile
It is my faith in you, my God
That has brought me this far ahead

I think I see the end of the road
But still have a final step to take
And it’s that last step, the final step
A bit more strength give me, my God—
That is, if you so will it—
Than you gave to your servant of old
Whose eyes saw the land of fruitful Canaan
But whose feet touched not the conspicuous land
Let not go of my hand, O Lord
Help me to take this last step
But let it be in your way, not mine, O Lord
May it be in your way, O Lord, not mine

As We Forgive Those …

Someone offended me.
He really offended me.
I never had to fight
So hard in my life
To forgive anyone like this.
I want to forgive this person
But, Lord, how tough it is to forgive

I pray you, Lord on high
Please grant me your grace
To forgive all from my heart
At times I kid myself
And think I forgave
But then after some time
I start boiling up again
That means, Lord, it still lingers
Sometimes I try to rationalize
That he needs to learn a lesson

But, Lord, you are the Judge
And you alone mete out punishment
Help me just to forgive
So I may not harbor evil thoughts in mind
Then I would love even my enemies
As you love all people on earth
Even those who dare to love you not

Your Way, How Crooked!

Were I to imagine the way that leads to you
It is a long and narrow road
On this road are those with good will
They see some fall on this road
They go out of their way to help them rise
To walk along this road to come to you
It is indeed a long and narrow road
Leading through ravines and gorges

But with thrills and joys intermingled
Nursing their joys with gratitude
And bearing their crosses patiently
Meeting the concerned crying women of Jerusalem
Pleased to accept relief from Simons of Cyrene
And, oh, the welcome comfort of mothers
Illuminating the road as they go along

The other road, Lord
Straightforward and smooth
Oh, what a pleasure!
So wide a road and so very short
Its travelers storing up earthly treasures in their bins
Unlimited this worldly ecstasy
“Vanitas vanitatum,” Lord
“Omnes vanitas est.”
When one falls down on this primrose road
They trample him underfoot and go their way
Calling good evil and evil good
No recourse to patience and morals
Transgressing all your given laws
Caring not for you or man
But their own selfish ends
Lord, what a way to go
This selfish and loveless road!
Comfortably wide but ending in demise

Wise Guy

Lord, I know you saw me
You knew I was going to fall
Why did you not prevent it
Since you know everything
And so good a God you are?
My Lord, that was a ditch
And you knew the ditch was there
Why not guide my steps, my Lord?
Why did you not pay attention
To where I was going?

At times I am too careless, Lord
Sometimes I rely entirely on you
Not that it is bad in itself
For indeed that is just what you ask of me
My total self to abandon—
All into your hands
But, Lord, this is just what I mean
Sometimes I simply rely on you
I leave all to you to do for me
Not that I leave all up to you
So as to follow your own wise way for me
While I do my best in doing my part
No, I just leave everything to you
And sit idle all day long
Waiting for you to do my work
That’s not doing my share, Lord
That’s simply taking advantage of you
Who would not be taken advantage of


Do you mean the beggars on the street?
Are they who we are to invite
When we lay our lavish a la cartes?
Lord, when I invite these you talk about
They would just eat and go away
Never to invite me to dinner with them
For they cannot even afford their own
Lord, is this what you ask of me?

Do you know these people well?
They drool as they eat and drink
No table manners, Lord my God, these good folk
Are these the ones you ask me to invite?

And, Lord, their shirts! O God, their shoes!
Their shirts are torn, their shoes eaten away
Strings for belts, no combs, no handkerchiefs, Lord
Are these the people to be close to me?

Sometimes they pray, sometimes they don’t
At times they smile, but too seldom
They have no homes, they live on the streets
They have no place to lay their head

You had no place to lay your head
You had nowhere, Lord, to go to sleep
They have nowhere to go to sleep either
Don’t you always mingle with them, my Lord, in love?


I experienced some dejection
From the rejection of someone
I desired to get close to
It was an empty emotion
I felt deep within me
For I believed I did deserve
The friendship of such dear one
As hard as I tried to befriend
This one radiating joy
The harder it seemed to me
To make way to his heart
It seems unreal to me
That this should occur
Should it be beyond one
Such a desirable friend to have?

Help me to remember, Lord
That rejection is also part of life
That it’s not all whom we’ll meet
Who would take closely to us
Whatever the differences
Clear these gaps for us all
So that we may always live as o
ne And unite in thanksgiving for your love
For then we shall be brothers and sisters indeed

No Hurt in Heart

Greatly offended
I have to let go
To let you come
Into my heart
To dilate
The gift received
From my offender
I wish its return
For I’ll have none of it
So I maintain an enemy in this way
But damnation is this
To refuse gift from God
Any gift of repentance
Or reconciliation
So strength I pray you
This gift to cherish
To consider as from you
And love this giver and his gift
To let hurt go
So as to let you come
Thus do I prepare a heart for you
To accommodate only your love
So there can be no chance for hurt to live
Alongside your love in my heart
Thus I gain a friend and a gift
And I gain your love

Why This Road?

Why am I bound for this? Lord!
Why, Lord? This road!
I glance around and the only road I see
Is paved with trials and toils and tears

Why, Lord, why only me
When those I see around
On primrose paths do parade
With smiles and laughs and nodding their heads?
They seem to fear nought

Be this the road that’s meant for me
Then may your will be always done
But this I ask, my Lord, of you
My hand to take and lead me on
Then I’ll make bold to take this leap
On this rough, narrow road
That stretches out before me

Crossed Woods

I arm myself
With two crossed woods
That’s all I need
That was all I was given
They’re powerful
Far more powerful
Than human might
I’m armed with His grace
For is not He above
Who made all power
All-powerful Himself?
And is He not the same
Who turned the two woods
Into triumphant victory?
So do I arm myself
With my given cross
And fight with all my might
With Him by my side
I fight and fight to win
So, yes—and I say yes—
It’s well worth fighting for
Why else would I fight
A fight as fierce as this
Which from the inception
Seemed a battle lost
But knowing who He is
Whose peace I seek
I fight with Him in mind
Armed only with my cross
Fighting to win the crown
The crown made for me
With craftsmanship divine

My Little Cross

My Lord, when I was a child you gave me a cross
In my mother’s womb I had a cross
You were there too with me
As you are still by my side
I brought out this cross, this little cross
Into this world in which we live
I carried it out in the form of tears
For when I was hungry and my mother had no milk
It was my cross I had to bear
I fell down many times imitating you in several ways
I fell down carrying my cross
And when I cried my tears
A Veronica was always there
To wipe away the little drops
The times I got so sick, my Lord,
And the times I had to drink my bitter medication
I drank with you, my Lord, your vinegar
Given to you on your cross to drink
I tried to carry my cross as best I could
I carried my little cross following you, Lord
Even though a mere child I was at the time

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