The Messenger of God

by Hilary Horn

By Rodney Marsh, A poem I wrote about my (imperfect) journey with learning to pray the “prayer of the heart” (meditation) and was written after reading Laurence Freeman’s Introduction to John Main Essential Writings.  


The Messenger of God

In the quiet she said,

“I have a gift for you”

“Wow! I always knew I was a very important person. I deserve this recognition” (I thought)

I said, “What is it?” She said,

“A golden spade’ (Why?)

“to dig” (Where?)

“To the centre” (Why?)

“for treasure.”  

“Is this true?”(I thought)


She gave me a tiny, toothpick like, fragile stick.

“This doesn’t look like the golden spade you promised me” (I thought)

“Thanks” I said,  

“Dig” she said  


I dug.


My toothpick is a like my Saturday Lotto ticket –

To have a chance to find the promised treasure –

I’d better keep digging, so

I dug


She came back. I said  

“I haven’t made much progress”

No answer.

“How long? How far?” I said

More silence.


I dug


She came back, I said

“I might make more progress.

If you gave me a better spade.”

“You have all you need.”

“Keep digging” (She said)


I dug


My Lotto ticket motivation

began to shrink, so  

“Why do I keep on digging” (I thought)  

She came back, I said

“Is there really a treasure?”

“Keep digging” (She said)


I dug

She came back. I said  

“I enjoy the slow, simple, repetitive, mindless practice of digging.”

“I have answered my own question.” (I thought)

“Keep digging” (She said)


I dug


“I hit rock! There is no way my toothpick will get through this.” (I thought)

She came back. I said  

“You promised treasure.

You promised a golden spade

Time to give me what you promised.”

She said, “I do not have treasure but here is a golden spade.”

I tried to dig, but

With each strike of the golden spade

The rock became harder, then

The spade tarnished then corroded and  

Turned into my old toothpick!


I dug on


The rock gradually chipped, crumbled and

Turned to dust.

No longer did I wonder about progress  

or lack of it.

She came back, she said,

“Have you found the treasure yet?”

I said, “What treasure?”


I kept on digging


“I enjoy digging. Maybe the treasure is digging itself. I’m happy with that.” (I thought)

She came back, she said,

“Tell me about this hole you have dug”

“It’s my grave. My treasure is here.” I answered

she said, “listen”……


The trumpet will sound …the dead will be raised… we will be changed…. The mortal will be clothed with immortality…. Death will be swallowed up in victory. Maranatha. (S. Paul)


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