It is National Poetry Month and I want to celebrate the month with a little essay about the poet Richard Wilbur and his poem “October Maples.” At ninety-six years of age, Wilbur is probably our oldest, living, major American poet, and in my opinion, he has been the pre-eminent Christian poet writing in English in the latter half of the twentieth century.
We watch, sinners all, with bittersweet love for God and with that mixture of profound gratitude, shocking embarrassment, and deep sadness. We see the determination in both faces, and they are the faces that make us whole.
This is the story of one who took the blame.
We were the ones who did it. But we weren’t the ones punished for it.
“Marriage changes everyone,” he said, “but not all marriages are redemptive.”
As Christ redeems this world from the effects of sin, our giving is one important way we can participate in and contribute to his redemptive work.
Sometimes (most times?), especially when we’re thinking of God, our lives seem to be in a bad place.