the gift of restoration, unwittingly received

W.H. Auden, from his Horae Canonicae:

That, while we are thus away, our own wronged flesh

May work undisturbed, restoring

The order we try to destroy, the rhythm

We spoil out of spite: valves close

And open exactly, glands secrete,

Vessels contract and expand

At the right moment, essential fluids

Flow to renew exhausted cells,

Not knowing quite what has happened, but awed

Alan Jacobs:

Our bodies – our animal bodies, working heedless and independent of our ruined, rebellious wills – bear witness not just to God’s creative power, but to his ever-gracious, universal, ongoing work of healing and restoration. Whether we suffer righteously, or suffer the inevitable consequences of our own ‘spite,’ the restorative work of our flesh continues, a free gift offered to all and, yes, received by all – though by most unwittingly.


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