Analogies give us a glimpse of similarities and truths of a story tucked within a story. Thinking about this concept after my poem was written brought to mind Mark Twain’s British book, “The Prince and The Pauper,” published subsequently in the U.S. in 1882.
In Twain’s beloved story, a young prince and a pauper (who happen to look a lot alike and were born on the same day) trade places in life. The prince experiences the roughness of a lowly life just as his counterpart once did, while the pauper tries to bravely find his way at the top of an unfamiliar kingdom. Common sense, so crucial to his survival in the real world, comes in quite handy as he makes his way through the upper echelon. Ultimately, the real prince returns to claim his rightful place as heir and is crowned king. Ever grateful for his real-life experiences as a pauper, the prince now understands life for the poor and hard-working folks beneath him, and is better able to comprehend their needs. And, then he makes his friend, the pauper, his aide.
Having never read Twain’s book, my poem was written without knowledge of the story line. After research, it’s clear my poem takes a similar albeit slightly different tack in relating a king who was used to observing the realm from his castle high above the fray of every-day life. Wanting to experience firsthand what life for his subjects was like, he walks among them dressed as a beggar. In this guise, he observes that most people continue on their way with their heads held high, seldom stooping to assist someone poorer than they. They live and breathe a self-serving arrogance.
But, on the other hand, a young woman notices the poor man in his tattered clothing. She kindly offers to feed him – and not only did she provide nourishing meals, but she repairs his coat to provide warmth against the cold. He returns often to talk with her, to learn the depths of her heart, and to simply show appreciation and gratefulness for what she has done for him, a beggar.
He was afraid to share that he had fallen in love with her, but was now in a dilemma for he needs to return from whence he came. Indeed, he knows that truth must always be told in any situation… and so he set out one day to let her know how much he loved her. He was willing to give up all he owned just to serve her for the rest of his life. And it was then that he could see his love was returned in her eyes as he knelt down to propose. With her “yes,” his heart leapt for joy to know their hearts would soon be united forever, as he shared who he really was.
Tucked within the depth of this poem’s story is the analogy of our Lord’s love for us. Leaving his throne in His beautiful and perfect heavenly home, He came down to dwell among us… into this world of sin and pain. Once here, He experienced life just as we do with all of its temptations and sadness, but also the joy. And thus He is able to be our advocate and comforter, knowing from personal experience what our life on earth is all about.
Yet, our Lord came that He might serve us, not to be served. “…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28) In His sacrifice, He gave His all for us… His life… that we might accept an awesome priceless gift; and, in so doing, share eternity with Him above. What joy there will be when we are united with Him, and remain in the presence of His love forever! What a King!
Ode to a King
Linda A. Roorda
I gazed from afar while observing my realm
And found with int’rest motives in action,
But often their lives showed merest concern
While I could see depths of their anguished souls.
Oh how I loved these people of mine!
And longed to walk the path to their soul
A chance to converse, a sharing of hearts
To bring them peace with comforting words.
So stepping down, I entered their world
Yearning to serve the rich and the poor
But they did not know this beggar in rags
Most never saw needs, just held their head high.
And then I noticed a young woman fair
Who spoke gentle words to a stranger coarse
She offered me food and to mend my coat
While love in my heart had only begun.
A love which grew on the winds of time
A chance to bond and learn of her heart
To know the depths of comfort and peace
Humility’s grace wrapped up in mercy.
Now deeply in love I’d sacrifice all
Yet she did not know the truth of my garb
How would I explain that she’d found favor
That her heart was true, like gold refined.
So I intended my dilemma to share
To let her know from afar I’d come,
That all I’d longed for I treasured in her,
Companionship sweet, a blending of souls.
Expressing my love for her tender heart
Overwhelmed was she as on knees I bent
Asking for her hand, with tears she said yes,
My heart leapt for joy that we’d become one.
And then I shared my journey in rags
From a kingdom rich in glory and fame
To this lowly world of sorrow and pain
To which I had come, others to serve.
For it was then my eyes did behold
Analogy of One with far greater love
Who left His throne to walk on this earth
To share our burdens and speak to our hearts.
His love ran red as He gave His all
To purchase with blood and redeem our souls
That He might draw near, from sin set us free
To offer His gift of life eternal.
12/21/15 – 12/24/15
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