Who For the Joy Set Before Him...

Andrew Peterson sings about the windows in the world, the little glimpses of the goodness getting through. C.S. Lewis talks about sehnsucht, the inconsolable longing in the human heart for we know not what. Here is a poem posted by Anna, from the book The Valley of Vision, which struck me not only as true, but shatteringly true; not only a window in the world, but heaven's gates thrown wide; not only sehnsucht, but a piercing dividing even soul and spirit.

love lustres at calvary

My Father,
Enlarge my heart, warm my affections, open my lips,
supply words that proclaim ‘Love lustres at Calvary.’
There grace removes my burdens and heaps them on thy Son,
made a transgressor, a curse, and sin for me;
There the sword of thy justice smote the man, thy fellow;
There thy infinite attributes were magnified,
and infinite atonement was made;
There infinite punishment was due,
and infinite punishment was endured.
Christ was all anguish that I might be all joy,
cast off that I might be brought in,
trodden down as an enemy that I might be welcomed as a friend,
surrendered to hell’s worst that I might attain heaven’s best,
stripped that I might be clothed,
wounded that I might be healed,
athirst that I might drink,
tormented that I might be comforted,
made a shame that I might inherit glory,
entered darkness that I might have eternal light.
My Saviour wept that all tears might be wiped from my eyes,
groaned that I might have endless song,
endured all pain that I might have unfading health,
bore a thorny crown that I might have a glory-diadem,
bowed his head that I might uplift mine,
experienced reproach that I might receive welcome,
closed his eyes in death that I might gaze on unclouded brightness,
expired that I might for ever live.
O Father, who spared not thine only Son that thou mightest spare me,
All this transfer thy love designed and accomplished;
Help me to adore thee by lips and life.
O that my every breath might be ecstatic praise,
my every step buoyant with delight, as I see my enemies crushed,
Satan baffled, defeated, destroyed,
sin buried in the ocean of reconciling blood,
hell’s gates closed, heaven’s portal open.
Go forth, O conquering God, and show me
the cross, mighty to subdue, comfort and save.

2 ripostes:

  1. What a beautiful poem!

    Thank you for following my blog and your thoughtful comment, Jenny! I agree with everything you said. Stand strong and press on to the prize! Our God is faithful!


  2. Poems like this make it difficult to remember that I promised myself that I would not buy any more books until August. I have a plethora of tomes already that I need to read, and my penchant for buying books needs to be curtailed. But it is, at least, a practice in patience as well as a relief for one's pocket-book.

    I have read a lot of 'Easter' poems that are seeped in feeling, which are written on pure emotion. So it was a definite relief to find a poem which struck to the bedrock of our faith, regardless of feeling (happy or sad), regardless of wayward emotion. There is a definite note of joy throughout the poem, I think, that sort of joy that Lewis talks about which is both happiness and sorrow at once, but the foundation of the poem rests upon the unshakable truth. It is a poem which does not try to dress the truth unnecessarily in pretty phrases to make it pretty itself: it is a poem which sets out the truth in all its natural splendour.