Daily Word of Grace # 158 (October 22, 2020)

One of the most celebrated American writers of the nineteenth century was the troubled genius Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849). In addition to his picturesque and unsettling short stories like “The Pit and the Pendulum” and “The Masque of the Red Death” (which has eerie connotations with today), Poe was known for his poems, most famously “The Raven” (which is why the NFL franchise in Baltimore, where Poe is buried, is named the Ravens). In his poem “Lenore” he describes the grief over the death of a beautiful young woman of that name—“Ah broken is the golden bowl! The spirit flown forever…For her, the fair and debonair, that now so lowly lies, the life upon her yellow hair but not within her eyes–the life still there, upon her hair–the death upon her eyes.” And yet, this poem unexpectedly concludes with hope: “Avaunt! to-night my heart is light. No dirge will I upraise, but waft the angel on her flight with a Pæan of old days! Let no bell toll!–lest her sweet soul, amid its hallowed mirth, should catch the note, as it doth float up from the damnéd Earth. To friends above, from fiends below, the indignant ghost is riven–from Hell unto a high estate far up within the Heaven–from grief and groan, to a golden throne, beside the King of Heaven.” The hope of eternal life to which Poe alludes here—for Lenore, and for you—is based on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:21-22), “the King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16)—and also yes, as Poe wrote, “the King of Heaven.”

Love and Prayers,