Whittaker Chambers, from Communist to Christian

Started by Polymath, December 01, 2022, 02:49:49 PM

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Any of you ever hear about Whittaker Chambers?  I wrote a poem about him, got it published last week:


I think it's such a great story, I had to write this.

God's Finger on Whittaker Chambers

My baby miracle so dear
Smeared oatmeal on her face;
I saw her perfect seashell ear,
Curving like a vase,
The pinkest little fiddlehead,
In spiral like a scroll.
How could blind chance, inert and dead,
Make such a pretty bowl?

My little Ellen is my heart
That crawls in human shape.
How could this masterpiece of art
Be just a baby ape,
Just random carbon molecules
Assembled here by chance?
Such bland beliefs are fit for fools,
I gathered at a glance.

This bubbled up against my will;
I shooed the thought away.
Such anti-Communistic swill
Could lead me far astray.
For if her ear was by design,
Then Who was the Designer?
Design must mean a Hand Divine;
No other hand is finer.

Through all that time, the thought remained
As little Ellen grew.
My faith in Godlessness grew strained;
God slowly changed my view
Through Ellen's ear, which He designed,
And now the angels sing—
I left the Communists behind;
I follow Christ my King.


Poet's Note:

Whittaker Chambers (1901-1961) was a Communist spy in the United States from 1925 to 1938.  He became a Christian as a result of many incidents such as this over the years, detailed in his autobiography Witness (1952).  In 1933, when his wife Esther (also a Communist) learned that she was pregnant with this same daughter, they had planned to have an abortion, because Communist activists were supposed to forgo raising children, and this was one of the most intense times in his career as a Soviet spy.  However, they decided against it, as he details in the same autobiography:

"My wife ran over to me, took my hands, and burst into tears. 'Dear heart,' she said in a pleading voice, 'we couldn't do that awful thing to a little baby, not to a little baby, dear heart.'

"A wild joy swept me. Reason, the agony of my family, the Communist Party and its theories, the wars and revolutions of the twentieth century, crumbled at the touch of the child."

With nothing but the natural moral law written on every human heart to guide them, they decided to let their child live.  Had they gone through with ending Ellen's life, what a loss it would have been for everyone.


Lovely poem.  :)

Yes, Whittaker Chambers has been discussed here and his book is on my to-read list!
In conclusion, I can leave you with no better advice than that given after every sermon by Msgr Vincent Giammarino, who was pastor of St Michael's Church in Atlantic City in the 1950s:

    "My dear good people: Do what you have to do, When you're supposed to do it, The best way you can do it,   For the Love of God. Amen"