Daily Word of Grace # 86 (July 14, 2020)
One of the most brilliant poets in the English language is George Herbert (1593-1633), who was also an Anglican priest. Among his best known poems is the moving “Love (3)”, a conversation between a sinner (like you and me) and our Gracious God, referred to in this poem as “Love”: “Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back, guilty of dust and sin. But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack from my first entrance in, drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning, if I lacked anything. A guest, I answered, worthy to be here: Love said, You shall be he. I the unkind, ungrateful? Ah my dear, I cannot look on thee. Love took my hand, and smiling did reply, who made the eyes but I? Truth Lord, but I have marred them: let my shame go where it doth deserve. And know you not, says Love, who bore the blame? My dear, then I will serve. You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat: so I did sit and eat.” That is a beautiful and moving, and (thankfully) accurate picture of God, who is love (1 John 4:16) and who on the cross indeed “bore the blame” (1 Corinthians 15:3) for all of us who are indeed “guilty of dust and sin” and often “unkind, ungrateful.” And even now Love welcomes us (Romans 15:7) and invites us anew to receive the love and grace and forgiveness we need.
Love and Prayers,