Friday, December 14, 2012

Dec | 14 | Meowing Over the Message in Mr Potter’s Mad House


Title:- Meowing Over the Message in Mr Potter’s Mad House

Job 41:12  
“I will not fail to speak of his limbs, his strength and his graceful form.”

I remember visiting one happily delirious man in our local hospital, who was overcome with what psychiatrists refer to as ‘religious mania.’ Though very ill, he was ecstatic, seeing God in and through everything, imaging himself being able to be bodily connected to the internet and to God. British poet, Christopher Smart was afflicted with the same illness and confined for many years during the 1750’s in various institutions, ending up finally in 1763, at “Mr. Potters Mad House” in Bethnal Green London. Yes it was really called that!

Smart is a sad poetic character, eventually dying in debt in 1771; yet in his mania he saw himself as “the Lord's News-Writer or the Scribe-Evangelist” faithfully spreading the Word. One work he is particularly known for is his distinctive poem seemingly paying homage to his cat, Jeffrey. Taken from surviving fragments of his poem 'Jubilate Agno', (behold the lamb), which was written during his confinement, his cat Jeffrey does in fact say more about God in ways that many preachers could never even dream of! Here’s a wee portion:

“For the English Cats are the best in Europe.
For he is the cleanest in the use of his forepaws of any quadruped.
For the dexterity of his defence is an instance of the love of God to him exceedingly.
For he is the quickest to his mark of any creature.
For he is tenacious of his point.
For he is a mixture of gravity and waggery.
For he knows that God is his Saviour.
For there is nothing sweeter than his peace when at rest.
For there is nothing brisker than his life when in motion.”

I wonder if sometimes it takes a bout of madness for us to achieve a degree of seeing sanity and so to perfectly visualize what is often the visibly unseen, which before the onset of the malady, we neither truly knew nor ever truly really contemplated? Smart’s continuing mad message to us today is maybe prophetic in its forceful repeat of the considerations of the Trinity, for the Father Himself in the book of Job says, “look at Leviathan, consider his frame, know and learn;” and the Son in the New Testament calls us to “consider the lilies of the field and all the little sparrows; know and learn;” and the blessed Paraclete, God the Holy Spirit throughout the Scriptures and even today says “Look! What do you see? Listen what do you hear, smell, learn, know.”
May I make a suggestion today and ask you to indulge in a little religious mania with me and consider that portion of the Kingdom of God we refer to as the animal kingdom and in so doing, humbly receive the witness of God’s Word still clothed for us today in both skin and scales.

If you then find that God speaks to you more through your cat than He does your preacher, then maybe it’s time for you to either get on your knees to pray more for your 'word deliverer, or get on a bus and go listen elsewhere!

Finally though, maybe you should ask for the gift of prophecy and to become what the ancients used to call a 'seer'. Maybe Smart in all his madness saw more than many of us saner folk will ever do?

Listen:- Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Jeremiah, what do you see?" And I said, "I see a branch of an almond tree." Then the LORD said to me, "You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word." Jeremiah 1:11-12

Pray: -

Put your Spirit on me
And commune with me in dreams of night.
Put your Spirit on me
And speak with me in visions of the day, so bright.

Put your Spirit on me
That I might complete and win this race
O speak clearly, not in riddles
O LORD, let me see Your face.

Put your Spirit on me
That I would foresee the flight of Quail
And live in peaceful surety
That your good Word and works won’t fail.

Oh! Put your Spirit on me
That I might expect a sea of fish!
That all your people would be prophets
And so fulfil your servant's wish.

Oh! Rise up O LORD!
May your enemies all be scattered.
May all who stand before Your move
Be well and truly battered.

Rise up O LORD!
O LORD our God,
May Your foes all flee before You,
O king of old
Be our king still
For this LORD
We implore You.


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