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,