“Is there nothing to be done?
My brothers’ lives are lost?
They’ll burn here where I suffer now?
Into this hell be tossed?
This crater will forever roar
with flames that never cease?
No bridge to be found anywhere?
No place to find some peace?”
Father Abraham looked kindly
On the wretched, writhing man.
Though the strong flames flickered,
He could still see o’er the span.
“I see the fire’s work in you,
The scorching in your heart.
Your noble wish to save your kin
Is only now the start.
Your heart has become softer,
Though calluses remain.
There is much work ahead of you
But so much joy to gain.
The chasm has been set in place
And none can cross today,
But soon a time is coming
When the Son will build a way.
He will not leave you at His gate
Like you left men at yours.
He will bring each in the proper time
And never shut the doors.”
And Lazarus, who stood beside
That ancient patriarch,
Shouted across the horrid gulf
Of fire, yet so dark.
“I’ll wait for you, dear brother,
Here on the other side,
As you’re made ready to cross the gap—
As you are purified.
Although you never gave me bread
And laughed while I felt pain,
I’ll be preparing a splendid meal
For us to share in this domain.
For though the comforts here are great
And all is light and gold,
They’ll be greater when you come to us
Once over the threshold.”
Lazarus had suffered much,
While on that wounded Earth.
But not simply for some sins of his,
As he’d been poor since birth.
But the fire that the “rich man” felt,
Once his earthly body died,
Would burn for some time yet to come
For it was kindled by his pride.