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Sunday, April 09, 2006

Diary of an Old Soul: Apr 9-15

April 9. Here is my heart, O Christ; thou know'st I love thee.
But wretched is the thing I call my love.
O Love divine, rise up in me and move me--
I follow surely when thou first dost move.
To love the perfect love, is primal, mere
Necessity; and he who holds life dear,
Must love thee every hope and heart above.

10. Might I but scatter interfering things--
Questions and doubts, distrusts and anxious pride,
And in thy garment, as under gathering wings,
Nestle obedient to thy loving side,
Easy it were to love thee. But when thou
Send'st me to think and labour from thee wide,
Love falls to asking many a why and how.

11. Easier it were, but poorer were the love.
Lord, I would have me love thee from the deeps--
Of troubled thought, of pain, of weariness.
Through seething wastes below, billows above,
My soul should rise in eager, hungering leaps;
Through thorny thicks, through sands unstable press--
Out of my dream to him who slumbers not nor sleeps.

12. I do not fear the greatness of thy command--
To keep heart-open-house to brother men;
But till in thy God's love perfect I stand,
My door not wide enough will open. Then
Each man will be love-awful* in my sight;
And, open to the eternal morning's might,
Each human face will shine my window for thy light.

13. Make me all patience and all diligence;
Patience, that thou mayst have thy time with me;
Diligence, that I waste not thy expense
In sending out to bring me home to thee.
What though thy work in me transcends my sense--
Too fine, too high, for me to understand--
I hope entirely. On, Lord, with thy labour grand.

14. Lest I be humbled at the last, and told
That my great labour was but for my peace
That not for love or truth had I been bold,
But merely for a prisoned heart's release;
Careful, I humble me now before thy feet:
Whate'er I be, I cry, and will not cease--
Let me not perish, though favour be not meet.

15. For, what I seek thou knowest I must find,
Or miserably die for lack of love.
I justify** thee: what is in thy mind,
If it be shame to me, all shame above.
Thou know'st I choose it--know'st I would not shove
The hand away that stripped me for the rod--
If so it pleased my Life, my love-made-angry God.

*I think MacDonald meant "awful" in the sense of "full of awe."

**MacDonald is saying that God is justified when he punishes us.

Blessed Palm Sunday! The above is excerpted from George MacDonald's A Book of Strife in the Form of The Diary of an Old Soul (Public Domain, 1880). For further information see this post. These are the entries for/from April 9 through 15.

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