Where am I now, and who? What face do I
Observe within the glass, which was not there
Before? And who the Artists which apply
The paint and chisel, this face to appear?
I scrutinise the hurt, confusion, doubt,
And see a little boy where yesterday
A man had been, a man who was about
His father’s happy business, come what may–
But now, some figure formed of human hands
Presents himself to me, uncertain of
The goodness and the grace by which men stand
Whose lives are typified by honest love–
I cannot comprehend him, nor he me,
This face I wish I were too blind to see…
I wrote this poem much earlier today, as I was sitting through morning meetings at work while my mind was, obviously, elsewhere. I found myself grieving, sick at heart that I had so hurt someone as to ruin any friendship there. This fed a feeling of loneliness and want of fellowship, so that at lunchtime I joined some coworkers at Qdoba, sat across from one sweet older woman with whom I work, and implored her (out of the blue, but she’s gentle enough not to respond with too much surprise) to simply tell me about Jesus. I need encouragement, I said, so would you just tell me about Jesus right now? And she did. It was sweet.
The doubt and sadness bottled in the poem above, then, turned once more to a fierce determination that I would be near Him. I drove my doubt to make me only more desperate for Christ, to see Him in His body and in me. Hope rose. All things are under His feet and subject to Him–all things! All conversation, all ministry, all wounds and all healings, all gifts and all faults…there is no thing over which He is not supreme.
More encouragement came throughout the day, and even tonight–my mother shared with me today’s My Utmost:
These verses reveal the humiliation of being a Christian. Naturally,
if a man does not hit back, it is because he is a coward; but
spiritually if a man does not hit back, it is a manifestation of the
Son of God in him. When you are insulted, you must not only not resent
it, but make it an occasion to exhibit the Son of God. You cannot
imitate the disposition of Jesus; it is either there or it is not. To
the saint personal insult becomes the occasion of revealing the
incredible sweetness of the Lord Jesus.
The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount is not — Do your duty,
but — Do what is not your duty. It is not your duty to go the second
mile, to turn the other cheek, but Jesus says if we are His disciples
we shall always do these things. There will be no spirit of — “Oh,
well, I cannot do any more, I have been so misrepresented and
misunderstood.” Every time I insist upon my rights, I hurt the Son of
God; whereas I can prevent Jesus from being hurt if I take the blow
myself. That is the meaning of filling up that which is behind of the
afflictions of Christ. The disciple realizes that it is his Lord’s
honour that is at stake in his life, not his own honour.
right yourself. We are always looking for justice; the teaching of the
Sermon on the Mount is — Never look for justice, but never cease to
Such a wonderful reminder of the humility of our Lord, when the days have been full of bold speech of late. Fewer words now, and may God in His grace bring about a new love as He does a new thing among us all. O God, that it would be marvelous in our eyes, and our weak words would result in Your greater glory. Not to us but to Your Name…
I don’t know you, but that was very encouraging….thank you. and that is really a brilliant idea to ask an older saint to tell you about Jesus when you need to remember who He is. I need to try it sometime.
It’s not about me. Why is that so easy to forget? I need someone to tell me about Jesus. Today I was wondering how I could learn, how I could do better. Where can I go to get this sin out of me? And Psalm 119 came to mind like an old friend with a wry, sympathetic grin on his face. “By taking heed according to Your Word.” I haven’t been seeking Him with my whole heart. And now I need my heart to break…wonderful post.
I’d love to take a trip back to Hudson, hits some golfs ball across the state line (into the St. Croiux, and eat at that green restaurant, but alas, that’s the same weekend new students are coming in to BC and there’s no way I can miss that. I tried to get him to change the date last fall but this was the only weekend that worked for them. They’re not even going on a real honeymoon because they’ve both got to get back to work.
I’m pretty sure I saw you all ghetto and stuff with your white headband pullin up to the Chick-fil-a drive thru on Gunbarrel…ahhh, chick-fil-a…fond memories eh?
Amen… “Every change involves loss and every loss is a death in one way or another.”
David, I needed to hear this. I needed a reminder of what is important and what is not. Maybe more to the point, what is necessary and what is not. Thank you.