"I heard a story once — an incredible story, an amazing story. It told of one who is relentlessly faithful and loves with an unwavering love. It was said that his sorrow was over broken people, it was said that he tirelessly pursues each lost one, never giving up until…until…”

Jesus famously used parables to teach his friends and followers about himself and about whom they are in him. Stories continue to be some of the most profound ways that we learn about God and about ourselves.

The poem The Hound of Heaven by Francis Thompson is one of the most powerful stories I have ever read. It’s a beautiful depiction of the God who pursues the one he loves, a story about our human condition — the selfishness and fear that drives us from relationship with God. It’s a beautiful and epic tale of being lost and found, of brokenness and healing.

It’s a story we could all benefit from hearing, because, let’s face it: even we who have been found struggle against the inclination to run from God. How often have I followed the voices that tempt me away from his voice? Voices that promise me love, value, intimacy, riches… all things that are found in him but that often seem more real in other people or things. So much more tangible, so much more attainable.

Emblem Media has taken that classic poem and told the story in a new way that sounds more like our own. This is no short clip, but I challenge you to take a break from your work or play and watch this gorgeous video. And as you listen to the story, reflect on the ways you have run from God. Can you relate to the narrator’s worry? “I sensed his devotion to me was great, but I feared its power. I was afraid if I opened my heart, he would rush in and I would be allowed nothing, nothing of my own!”

And hear the message God, that relentless hound of our souls, offers as a message to you:

“Which of those you fled to loved you?” I heard him say. And my heart answered, “None but you. Only you.” And then he said to me, “You will have no rest, until you rest in me. Come, take my hand, and rise.”

updated September 2019

Photo Credit: Phil Dolby