Malcolm Guite is an Anglican Priest and a poet and song-writer – he has a weekly column, called Poet’s Corner, on the back page of the Church Times.
In last week’s column he wrote about his visit to Hawarth Parsonage, the home of the three clever and successful Bronte sisters, and their brother Branwell. Despite being equally talented, Branwell could never quite match the success of his sisters and, we are told, ‘spent his final years almost bedridden, struggling with depression and dependent on alcohol and opium.’ But his loving father, the Reverend Patrick Bronte, ‘looked after his tragic son and loved him as deeply as his brilliant daughters’
The day before his visit to the parsonage, Guite had heard a sermon in a local church, which he quotes,
‘“How early on that first day was the resurrection?” the preacher asked. “We think of it as coinciding with the dawn, but we would be wrong. The women arrived ‘whilst it was yet dark’ to find the tomb empty – the resurrection had already happened. God was most powerfully at work in the deep darkness well before the dawn. He does not wait for the light to dawn in our lives before he comes to find us and raise us, but it is just when things seem most dark and hopeless for us, long before dawn, that he makes his move.”’
Guite continues, ‘I remembered that sermon, standing in Branwell’s room, and prayed for him, and for so many others I’ve know like him, and for the bit of me that is like him, too – prayed that we might all find our peace in Christ and rise with him in glory.’