The Three Rivers

The river of judgment sings a grave and foreboding song
As the mass of deceased human souls approaches its banks
Peals of thunder ring out from the ebony current
Causing men’s hearts to tremble with self-convicting dread

An angel carrying a balance of scales
Greets each terrified and shuddering sinner
Each son of Adam and daughter of Eve
Is guided into the somber waters

The river’s descant alternates between deeper, lower notes
And softer, higher notes as the wheat is separated from the chaff
Every life is laid bare by the song of heaven’s pure probity
Not one deed is forgotten in the halls of eternal justice

As each mortal slowly emerges from the waters of examination
He comes face to face with the Divine Adjudicator on the Judgment Seat
Tenderly touching the chin of each humbled transgressor
He turns their gaze toward a second river of ardent song

The river of purification sings a cacophonous song
As all those who have been judged apprehensively approach its banks
The sound of a fierce conflagration issues forth from the fervid current
Confronting each man and woman with the necessity of purgation

An angel carrying the tools of a refiner
Receives each marred and blemished soul who has been tried
Saints and sinners, believers and unbelievers
Are dipped in the waters of divine cautery

The river’s tune clangs in a state of spiritual disquietude
While every sinner is called upon to pay the uttermost farthing
The dross of sin is removed by the fire of the Cosmic Physician
For the new Eden will not tolerate a single impurity

After each living soul emerges from the waters of expiation
He comes face to face with the great I Am in the ancient burning bush
A still small voice speaks softly to the chastised from the transcendent blaze
Whispering to go to a third river of redemptive melody

The river of redemption sings a euphonious song
As a multitude of human souls approaches its banks
Soothing notes emanate from the pacific current
Bringing eternal healing to the whole human race

An angel carrying the balm of clemency
Lovingly embraces each liberated soul
One by one, all those judged and purified
Are baptized in the salvific waters

The holy river fills the air with a faint sound of heavenly bells
As the salve of divine mercy is applied most magnanimously
Innocence and perfection are finally restored
Hearts healed, souls cleansed by the restorative waters

As all the redeemed rise up from the baptismal font
They come face to face with the Way, the Truth, and the Life
He escorts them to the verdant pastures of the Elysian fields
Watered by the mists of everlasting felicity

~ The Poetic Universalist

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