It’s no secret that I miss Africa. What I miss most of all was the connection to something eternal. So much of our culture emphasizes material well-being and I think I found something far beyond that in Africa. Charles Dickens captured this feeling in his poem “Things That Never Die.” I hope that my life emphasizes the eternal things of our existence.
The pure, the bright, the beautiful
that stirred our hearts in youth,
The impulses to wordless prayer,
The streams of love and truth,
The longing after something lost,
The spirit’s longing cry,
The striving after better hopes –
These thing can never die.
The timid hand stretched forth to aid
A brother in his need;
A kindly word in grief’s dark hour
That proves a friend indeed;
The plea for mercy softly breathed,
When justice threatens high,
The sorrow of a contrite heart-
These things shall never die.
Let nothing pass, for every hand
Must find some work to do,
Lose not a chance to waken love –
Be fire and just and true.
So shall a light that cannot fade
Beam on thee from on high,
And angel voices say to thee –
“These things shall never die.”