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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Diary of an Old Soul, Nov 5 - 11

5. "Wake, thou that sleepest; rise up from the dead,
And Christ will give thee light.*" I do not know
What sleep is, what is death, or what is light;
But I am waked enough to feel a woe,
To rise and leave death. Stumbling through the night,
To my dim lattice, O calling Christ! I go,
And out into the dark look for thy star-crowned head.

6. There are who come to me, and write, and send,
Whom I would love, giving good things to all,
But friend--that name I cannot on them spend;
'Tis from the centre of self-love they call
For cherishing--for which they first must know
How to be still, and take the seat that's low:
When, Lord, shall I be fit--when wilt thou call me friend?

7. Wilt thou not one day, Lord? In all my wrong,
Self-love and weakness, laziness and fear,
This one thing I can say: I am content
To be and have what in thy heart I am meant
To be and have. In my best times I long
After thy will, and think it glorious-dear;
Even in my worst, perforce my will to thine is bent.

8. My God, I look to thee for tenderness
Such as I could not seek from any man,
Or in a human heart fancy or plan--
A something deepest prayer will not express:
Lord, with thy breath blow on my being's fires,
Until, even to the soul with self-love wan,
I yield the primal love, that no return desires.

9. Only no word of mine must ever foster
The self that in a brother's bosom gnaws;
I may not fondle failing, nor the boaster
Encourage with the breath of my applause.
Weakness needs pity, sometimes love's rebuke;
Strength only sympathy deserves and draws--
And grows by every faithful loving look.

10. 'Tis but as men draw nigh to thee, my Lord,
They can draw nigh each other and not hurt.
Who with the gospel of thy peace are girt,
The belt from which doth hang the Spirit's sword,
Shall breathe on dead bones, and the bones shall live,
Sweet poison to the evil self shall give,
And, clean themselves, lift men clean from the mire abhorred.

11. My Lord, I have no clothes to come to thee;
My shoes are pierced and broken with the road;
I am torn and weathered, wounded with the goad,
And soiled with tugging at my weary load:
The more I need thee! A very prodigal
I stagger into thy presence, Lord of me:
One look, my Christ, and at thy feet I fall!

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 November 5 through November 11.

*Ephesians 5:14 (KJV)

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