Can’t shake this evocative phrase from inside the hymn “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” It was penned by Robert Robinson, 1758, at age 22.
“…Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above…”
Does that reach in and grab you by the horns of your emotions and wrestle you to the ground until you’re laid out flat on the dirt floor of the rodeo arena? Does that blow on some deeply embedded embers stuck away in your soul, somewhere out of touch, until now?
An image I’ve held dear for a few years is that of “A thin veil over heaven.” It stems from the Hebrew meaning of the Old Testament words, “pillar of fire,” and “cloudy pillar,” which is spoken of in Exodus. It creates a picture of a God who can barely contain Himself from being fully revealed, so He exercises the restraint of thinly veiling His presence, for now.
If there is any accuracy in this image, then it explains why I am stunned by the invitation to peer into the heavens and dare to listen to a flaming tongue-sung sonnet.
I’ve written stuff I call poetry. I have little training. I often string together phrases that sound poetic but lack the structure poetry provides. So, along comes this thing called a sonnet. I am now in sonnet school. Classes consist of learning the discipline of structure, rhythm, meter (iambic pentameter), rhyming scheme, and “volta.” Locations for classes include, kitchen table, porch, sofa, shower, milking parlor, oh and, heavenly places where flaming tongue beings reside.
Famous people have written sonnets including Shakespeare and even Michelangelo. So, it would be cool to do something that famous people do. But, I long to be mentored by the hearing of sonnets sung by flaming tongues above. How crazy is that?! How can a cowboy ever hope to write a heavenly sonnet?
Maybe by writing of heavenly things I catch a glimpse of through the “thin veil.”