Hounding My Mind

I’ve shared before how this is the time of year when I seem to review my life, almost torturing myself with the people who aren’t in it and the places I can’t go any more.

I’m thinking of Miriam again. It was a fall day like this one when she quipped at some odd comment I’d made, “The Lord will win. His Holy Spirit is the hound of heaven you know.”

I was taken aback. It was such an irreverent, sacrilegious thought, comparing the Lord to a dog. I was not yet out of the denominational pew of my birth, so it was even more horrifying.

But maybe it was an attempt to challenge me to become more Biblically literate. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be until years later that I would grow enough to know how to search the Bible, then devolve into chuckling and laughter.

Hound of heaven is nowhere, nowhere in the Bible. Even hound is a hard word to find. I found it in the NIV, twice (or the search engine on my favorite online Bible site found it twice). It was nowhere in the KJV, which was what Miriam quoted all the time.

I was both miffed that she pulled it and even more intrigued. At first, I thought she just created it, but the prideful, educated side of me scoffed. So I googled hound of heaven.

There is actually a poem by a Francis Thomson called “The Hound of Heaven.” I won’t republish it here; its 180+ lines  are far too many for a mobile app generation. You can visit the full text if you’d like.

The point of the poem is so encouraging. Although God is indeed a just God who will allow souls to choose Hell, He is also an infinitely loving God whose graces and mercies are new every morning and never fail.

Like hounds were used to chase foxes tirelessly, relentlessly, passionately, steadfastly, He loves every sinner and will tirelessly, relentlessly, passionately, steadfastly arrange the circumstances of the sinner’s life so that the sinner has every opportunity up until the last breath to choose Christ.

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