Hearing from God


There was weeping at my house last night. The old Morton Salt slogan came to mind. “When it rains, it pours.” Why does it seem that the things that trouble us “come in threes”? The obvious tip of the emotional iceberg for us today is the sudden removal from this life of a husband, father, relative and friend. We struggle, along with all who are involved, with the senselessness, the brutality, and the sheer enormity of the emotional gulf that is fixed. We find ourselves unable to cross over it. Our spirits make demands from God; demands that we know to be futile before we start. Into this chasm; a poem by Whittier. I hope it speaks to you as it did to me.

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways;
Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
In purer lives Thy service find,
In deeper reverence, praise.

In simple trust like theirs who heard,
Beside the Syrian sea,
The gracious calling of the Lord,
Let us, like them, without a word,
Rise up and follow Thee.

O Sabbath rest by Galilee,
O calm of hills above,
Where Jesus knelt to share with Thee
The silence of eternity,
Interpreted by love!

With that deep hush subduing all
Our words and works that drown
The tender whisper of Thy call,
As noiseless let Thy blessing fall
As fell Thy manna down.

Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm.

John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)

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