On Mount Olympus we romped, my compeers and I
Sound in mind and body,
All wishes granted at a wrist's twist or fingertip's tap.
“Pamper yourself.” “Have it your way.”  “You want it, you got it!”

At times the clouds below us parted, and we  glimpsed the hovels
huddled far down in squalor and darkness.
Our hearts would leap and squirm with pity:
“Someone should do something.   Why don’t they?”
But soon we’d turn away.
They were so far away.  Theirs was another world.
We had other things on our minds. Important things, like:
"What shall we eat, what shall we drink, what shall we wear?"

I too turned, but the somber images were branded into my brain.
Troubling thoughts wearied me with their continual coming:

 ‘Why should I have while they lack?’

‘If a brother or sister is naked, and destitute of daily food,
And I say to them, “Depart in peace, be  warmed  and  filled!”,
But fail to provide for their physical needs
   Then what are my words more than vaprous air?
   What is my life more than a puff of wind?’

 ‘Are they not my brothers?  Am I not my brother’s keeper?’
The jumping thoughts multiplied, like a plague of frogs
within my brain.  They left no privacy,  infiltrating
the bedroom, the kitchen, the water-closet.
Deep down I knew that  Someone was calling me:
        “Come now and I will send you, that you may bring forth my children out of bondage.”
Why should I resist? My life as it was
had no savor, tasteless as raw egg white.

My companions by and large approved my going,
though some worried over my safety.
If I went they could look down, and think comfortable thoughts:
“Now someone is doing something.”
Problem solved!  Case closed! Conscience clear.

The Prince of Darkness gnashed his jaws when he knew,
And ordered his hordes to thwart my path.
But Someone went before me, spreading His hands
The dark legions foamed and roared, but  parted left and right,
Leaving me dry passage through.

With me I brought a smoldering stick,  a smoking flax.
A pitiful weapon  against the immense darkness.

Quickly I discovered how like me the under-dwellers were,
and how like them I was.  We cleaved together,
like two halves of a broken staff.

I shared the fire, and got unspeakable  joy
As I saw lights spring up in caves and hovels,
In eyes, and within minds.
Fire to cook, to protect,  to heat, to empower,
To sing and dance by,
To hope and dream by,
To make a beginning,
For LIFE, L’Chaim.

But the dingy environment of the valley
the tinged air, the tainted food
took its toll on my body,
Used as it was to the refined mountain air,
To  pristine, antiseptic surroundings.
My spirit chafed, miffed at my body,
that balky vehicle which no longer ran smoothly
and broke down so often.

The vested powers in the valley
gave mixed response to my coming.
Some were puzzled, some vaguely interested;
Some felt unsettled and slightly threatened;
Some who were in league with the Prince of Darkness
were hostile either openly or in secret.

But what did I care?

The LORD was my light and my salvation whom should I fear?
The LORD was the strength of  my  life; of whom should I be afraid?
When my  foes came upon me to eat up  my  flesh, they stumbled  and  fell.
Though an army encamped against me,  my  heart did not fear:
Though war rose against me,  I was confident in HIM.
My downfall came
Not from my enemies, but from myself.
I became addicted to  the pleasure of light-giving:
Forgetting that Lucifer was also bearer of light;
Forgetting that Moses lost his chance when he struck the rock;
Forgetting that
 The one thing I should desire of  Him, and seek after
 was to dwell in the house of the  LORD  all the days of  my  life,
 to behold His beauty,  to enquire in His temple,
 to seek His face.
Had I desired Him only,
 In the time of trouble He would have hidden me in His pavilion,
     in the secret of His tabernacle;
 He would have set me up upon a rock;
 He would have lifted up my head above mine enemies round about me:
 He would have led me in a plain path
      and delivered me from false witnesses who rose up against me.
 I became a worm not a man,
    a reproach of  my brothers
 I succumbed to fightings without, and fears within
 He sent me not peace, but a sword,
 And set me at variance against my most dearly beloved,
 My foes were those of  own   household.
I was spent, confused, broken, empty.
the dark legions gleefully closed in around me
threw ropes over me, hoping to draw me down
But He placed me gently in a basket
and drew me back to the mountain heights.

Now back on Olympus,
My health and family restored, enhanced, and blessed
Seemingly free, and yet constrained with invisible chains.

Every day the eagle comes,
Rips open my chest, and eats out my heart.
I once tugged against my bonds, but no more
By now I know that I cannot break them by my own strength.
Nor ought  try:  for if perchance I did,
I would plunge back into the valley
lured by its Siren song
and sink and be swallowed by the depths.

Daily my heart is eaten out,
And daily it grows back,
Larger, stronger, pressing harder against the bonds.

My puzzled companions  see no chains.
I try to express to them  the rapturous joy
of bringing light and life into pitch darkness
of  recovering family lost from ages past,
and completing myself in their completion.
But hearing  they hear, and do not understand;
and  seeing they see, and do not perceive.
True, they may not be bound
But then, neither are their hearts enlarged.

My only hope is that in the fullness of  time,
My heart will become so enlarged
that the bonds will snap.

Oh Father,
Please grant that my heart may never
Shrink and shrivel back into apathy and pettiness.
Not only for my sake, Father,
But for the sake of my long-lost family down below
who never had even a chance,
And for Your own sake, Father,
because You yearn after them with tender love.
If I am not fit to go back down, Father, then I beg You,
Send someone to do something.
Would you, please?  Thank you.