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

Mark Altrogge

I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I enjoy songwriting, oil painting and coffee, not necessarily in that order.