Wilf Copping, the author of the following poem, was born in Chesterfield, England in 1954. He became a Christian whilst at teachers’ training college in 1974 and made a commitment to celibacy in 1980.
“I am a follower of Jesus, a celibate and I live in a Christian community. I work in a shop to pay the bills (and I love it). I’m a poet just cos I am and I can’t help it. The best thing about me are my friends.” Wilf.
It is strength to a father’s arms
As he guides his children on
Up though the lofty narrow paths
And on to their mountain home.
It is the gentleness of the mother’s embrace
And the richness of her breasts
That brings her children nourishment,
Protection, solace and rest.
It is tenderness trembling on the lover’s lips
Set on fire by the kisses of God
It is innocence gazing into unseen eyes
That happily dies for the Lord.
It is sharpness to the warrior’s sword
By which the weakest may slay,
Sure course to the bowman’s arrows
To find the heart of the prey.
For those who dare it is all these things
Single yet manifold, mysterious and bright
This is the gift of celibacy
Come down from the Father of Lights.