He writes in characters too grand
For our short sight to understand;
We catch but broken strokes, and try
To fathom all the mystery
Of withered hopes, of death, of life,
The endless war, the useless strife—
But there, with larger, clearer sight,
We shall see this—His way was right.
I first came across this poem as a 17-year-old preparing to leave home in Davao to go to university in Manila. Now, with 20 years in the rear view mirror since I committed this poem to memory, I can see and I can say, “His way was right”.
The Wise Writer is far from finished though; He continues to wield His Providential Pen on the paper of my life. Many times with furrowed brows, I wrestle with His strokes, trying to decipher the curves and swirls, the dots and blots.
In my life I have seen countless exclamation marks of blessings. I’ve also seen Him place a definitive period to a sentence that, to me, does not yet need to end. At times I am tempted to superimpose a question mark on what He has thus far written. (And lovingly, He lets me.) Ellipses are the hardest— I am impatient: I stare at the three cliffhanger dots, pestering God to keep writing so I can see what’s next…
Through it all, He remains patient and purposeful. He whispers, “I will complete the good work I have begun in you.” By His grace, I believe I am learning more and more to be less squirmy, more still—trusting the Hand and the Heart behind the pen.
Oh for grace to trust Him more.
In a few weeks, God will have begun a beautiful new chapter in my life—fatherhood. I am excited and anxious. I pray for grace to trust Him in this new chapter and in all the others He is yet to write. I also pray for faith to say with all my heart, even before I get the benefits of hindsight, “His way is right.”