The Hound Of Heaven


I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him…..
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.

( from “Hound of Heaven,” by Francis Thompson, 1859-1907)

We sometimes describe our salvation with phrases like “I found the Lord.” But in reality, Jesus found us. He wasn’t lost; we were fleeing from him and he apprehended us. We fled him, down the nights and down the days…yet those strong Feet followed, followed after.

After Jesus saved Jericho’s despicable chief tax collector, Zacchaeus, he said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (LK 19.10). This sums up the book of Luke and was Jesus’ mission statement.

From the moment Adam and Eve rebelled, the Hound of Heaven began taking the initiative to restore that which was lost.? They hid cowering in the garden but the Lord called out to them, “Where are you?” Even then God sought to rescue sinners.

Think of your own conversion and recall how those strong Feet followed after you.

I was having coffee with a friend at college, when a hippy-ish guy strode over to our table, plopped down a couple tracts, smiled broadly, then walked away. He was the happiest looking guy I’d ever seen.

Later I ran into a Jewish friend who said, “Mark, I gotta talk to you about Jesus. He saved me!”

For some unknown reason I picked up a paperback Bible, and began reading the gospels.

My girlfriend called to tell me about a guy she’d met who wore a Jesus t-shirt, and how he’d talked to her about the Lord.

My parents invited me to a “prayer meeting,” and the guy next to me talked to Jesus like he was his best friend. The hair on the back of my neck stood up.

In all these ways, the glorious “Son of Man” of Daniel 7, who has all dominion, authority and majesty, who shed his divine blood to purchase lost sinners, pursued me.

Contemplating that Christ seeks sinners stirs me in 3 ways:

  • I want to overflow with amazement and gratitude that he sought me.
  • I want to imitate Jesus by seeking the lost.
  • My faith is bolstered knowing the Hound of Heaven is still seeking lost sinners, and he is pursuing those I reach out to.

photo by lcrf


  • emily says:

    Mark, what a great reminder. I love this poem. I am grateful that God pursued me and brought me to him nearly 4 years ago now. the realization of this pursuing God haunted me before I came to understand the love of Christ and yet today, brings much comfort. He is so faithful.

    Lately I have found much hope in remembering that the God who pursued me so faithfully and patiently and continually revealed to me His love, will not quit. He is still hunting for my heart and devotion. He is still pursuing me. Even as I run from that.

    “For, though I knew His love Who follow?d,
    yet was I sore adread
    lest, having Him, I must have naught beside” (all too often, this is my response to His pursuing love… yet still His faithfulness pursues! what a comfort this is.)

    God’s been reminding me lately that His pursuit of my heart means abandoning all else. As I so often find myself running, it means dropping all I cling to so dearly. And as those idols drop, God is faithful still to reveal His love…

    “Alack, thou knowest not
    How little worthy of any love thou art !
    Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,
    Save Me, save only Me ?
    All which I took from thee I did but take,
    Not for thy harms,
    But just that thou might’st seek it in My arms.”

    :Not for thy harms…” How grateful I am that God pursued me not to kill. He is on a hunt to display His love. As He pursues, I find myself dropping all I once held to tightly but as that happens, such a surprising contrast is taking place… He is bringing joy and peace in Himself… He is showing me love and mercy… even as I all too often run from that.

    What a great reminder. Thanks!

  • Ron Reffett says:

    Hey Mark,
    Great post this morning, as usual! What a worship filled thought, that Jesus actually sought after me, a worthless miserable sinner. The good news of that is that He still pursues me each and every day of my life, working on me and forming me more and more until I have the family resemblance. I am so thankful for Jesus and that He found me, when I wasn’t really looking for Him!
    That is truly good news not only for us but also for the lost that we come in contact with, so many times I think that we feel like we have to be cool or relevant to their lives, like we have the power to change somebody’s life. Knowing that Jesus is the one who does the seeking and actually uses us in any way, totally blows my mind!
    Great post and another great start to the week my friend, thank you!
    Ron Reffett

  • Devorah says:

    Thanks for the reminder Mark! It’s amazing to reflect on the Lords love, how he has pursued us and how we should imitate him by seeking the lost.
    Devorah =)

  • Hey Emily,

    For someone who has been saved for only 4 years, you display so much maturity. It’s obvious to me, even reading your comments that God is doing great things in your life. I’m not sure I even understood the gospel 4 years into my Christian life. Thanks for your regular encouraging comments!

    Hi Ron,

    I too fall into the trap of thinking I must be cool and relevant in order for someone to believe the gospel and accept Christ. My only problem is that coolness and relevance left me around, oh, sometime in the late 70’s. So I too am glad that Jesus does the seeking! Hope you have a great week, Ron!

    Hey Devorah,

    Yeah, I need to grow a LOT in seeking the lost. May the Lord give all of us opportunities this week! Thanks for commenting.

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