The Little Gate to God
By Walter Rauschenbusch
In the castle of my soul
Is a little postern gate,
Whereat, when I enter,
I am in the presence of God.
In a moment, in the turning of a thought,
I am where God is.
This is a fact.
This world of ours has length and breadth,
A superficial and horizontal world.
When I am with God
I look deep down and high up.
And all is changed.
The world of men is made of jangling noises.
With God it is a great silence.
But that silence is a melody
Sweet as the contentment of love,
Thrilling as a touch of flame.
In this world my days are few
And full of trouble.
I strive and have not;
I seek and find not;
I ask and learn not.
Its joys are so fleeting,
Its pains are so enduring,
I am in doubt if life be worth living.
When I enter into God,
All life has a meaning.
Without asking, I know;
My desires are even now fulfilled,
MY fever is gone
In the great quiet of God.
My troubles are but pebbles on the road,
My joys are like the everlasting hills,
So it is when I step through the gate of prayer
From time into eternity.
When I am in the consciousness of God
Those whom I love
Have a mystic value.
They shine, as if a light were glowing within them.
Even those who frown on me
And love me not
Seem part of a great scheme of good.
(or else they seem like stray bumble bees
Buzzing at a window,
Headed the wrong way, yet seeking the light.)
So it is wen my soul steps through the postern gate
Into the presence of God.
Big things become small, and small things become great.
The near becomes far, and the future is near.
The lowly and despised is shot through with glory,
And most of human power and greatness
Seems as full of internal iniquities
As a carcass is full of maggots.
God is the substance of all revolutions;
When I am in him, I am in the Kingdom of God
And the Fatherland of my Soul.
Is it strange that I love God?
And when I come back through the gate,
Do you wonder that I carry memories with me,
And my eyes are hot with unshed tears for what I see.
And I feel like a stranger and a homeless man
Where the poor are wasted for gain.
Where rivers run red,
And where God's sunlight is darkened by lies?
May God's sunlight shine again. Thy kingdom come, God!