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In the mid 1800’s Francis Thompson was in the throes of battle with truth. Ravished by alcohol and drug abuse, He had begun to sense the relentless pursuit of the Holy Spirit, and the harder he ran, the more he felt the hot breath (so to speak) of what he called “The Hound of Heaven” on his heels. He found there was no speed fast enough to outrun God; no place to hide from God; no safe haven, no place of rest, no armor or weapon that would serve to help him against the One he was striving so desperately to avoid.


Here are just a couple of short excerpts from his poem, “The Hound of Heaven”


“So my pursuer persisted; never rushed or agitated, always steady,

constantly in control. And, continually I heard the accompanying Voice that

spoke above the sound of the footfalls, now saying, ‘There is nothing which will hide

you...you who will not hide Me in your heart’.”


Then, later:


“The chase continues, the Pursuer coming closer to the one pursued;

never rushed or agitated, constantly in control. And, always

the Voice - if anything, faster than the Feet - ‘Listen! Nothing

will ever bring contentment to you; you who resist contenting Me’.”


Finally, at the end of his poem, having given up and surrendered to the One who would not let him get away, he says:


“Now the One who was always pursuing from behind is alongside.

The chase is ended. I sense a darkness. Is it danger?

No, it is rather the shadow of His hand of affection reaching out to me. And, this

One who has chased so relentlessly after me says, ‘You who were so foolish, so blind to

the truth, so utterly weak; I am the One whom you have always sought in all of

your furious searches for security, well-being, and wholeness.

You find all you want and need when you walk with Me’.”

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