There was an Old Rabbi
By the name of Abraham J. Heschel;
where the gift of wonder,
was most pleased to dwell.
I did not ask for success,
nor wisdom, power or fame.
This was my one request,
I asked for wonder in God’s name.
Yes, He asked for Wonder
And it pleased our God to bestow,
this heavenly gift from above,
Upon this humble fellow.
“I feel only gratitude for my life,
for each moment that I live.
Seeing so many miracles,
My last breath I’m ready to give.”
These the words of old Heschel,
After a near-fatal heart attack.
In the face of imminent death,
All things become white and black.
“As civilisation has advanced,
Our sense of wonder has declined.”
Thunderstorms and meteorology
No longer blow our minds.
We no longer catch our breath,
at the beauty of a rose,
nor at the smell of its scent,
or many others with our nose.
We’ve got blase and worldly-wise,
We’ve become sophisticated.
Our world has lost its sense of wonder;
We need rejuvenated!
We’ve become so preoccupied with self,
the words we speak and plans conceived
That we’ve become immune to the glory of creation
And God’s Holy Spirit we have grieved.
The ice on the pond comes and goes,
The wild blackberries ripen and wither,
The blackbird that nests outside our window,
Her song we don’t hear nor do we see her.
We rake up every leaf,
as fast as it falls.
We buy pre-packaged foods,
from supermarket stalls.
We never think nor blink
About the Beauty of God’s creation
And so I write this poem,
To revive a spirit of wonder in this nation.
– Matthew Robb
Inspired by Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s Prayer
and ‘The Ragamuffin Gospel’ by Brennan Manning.