The Hands Beneath the Wings
George H. Morrison
The visions of Ezekiel are often hard to understand, and in part they are hard to understand because of their minuteness of detail. Some men, when they have visions, see things in a hazy kind of way. Ezekiel, when he had visions, saw things with remarkable minuteness. And it has always seemed to me that this minuteness, so characteristic of many Bible visions, is a singular attestation of their truth. Many of us recall moments in our life, not infrequently hours of tragic tidings, when we were stunned and seemed to feel nothing save that life would never be the same again. Yet now, as we look back upon these moments when we were far too dazed to comprehend, the marvelous thing is how we recollect the smallest and most trifling detail. So is it with the greatest visionaries. In the intense light everything is photographed. Deep experience resolves itself, through time, into vivid recognition of particulars. And so Ezekiel, thrilled with the glorious vision of these majestic and four-winged cherubim, saw the man's hands under the wings. Do we see anything like that as we look abroad with open eyes? It always seems to me we do.
We see it first in human life. Think, for example, of the life of genius, and more especially of literary genius, as exhibited by the great poets. One reads, let me say, some noble poem; it may be the "Divine Comedy" of Dante, or Spenser's "Fa‰rie Queene," or Milton's "Paradise Lost," or the "Endymion" of Keats. Immediately, in the wizardry of art, one is carried away to an ideal world where everything is clothed in perfect beauty. How a true poet soars! How he mounts up with wings as eagles! How he unfurls his pinions to the morning, "above the smoke and stir of this dim spot."1 And then one reads the story of his life, how he suffered, how he was tempted, how he starved, and there are the hands of a man under the wings.
Did you ever read the "Lives of the Poets" by Dr. Samu ...
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