Saturday, May 27, 2017

home safely before dark

Wikipedia public domain

The following is a prayer shared by Dr. Robertson McQuilkin in 1981.
He was President Emeritus of Columbia International University.

It’s sundown, Lord.
The shadows of my life stretch back
   into the dimness of the years long spent.
I fear not death, for that grim foe betrays himself at last,
   thrusting me forever into life:
Life with you, unsoiled and free.
But I do fear.
I fear the Dark Spectre may come too soon —
   or do I mean, too late?
That I should end before I finish or
   finish, but not well.
That I should stain your honor, shame your name,
   grieve your loving heart.
Few, they tell me, finish well…
Lord, let me get home before dark.
The darkness of a spirit
   grown mean and small, fruit shriveled on the vine,
   bitter to the taste of my companions,
   burden to be borne by those brave few who love me still.
No, Lord. Let the fruit grow lush and sweet,
   a joy to all who taste;
Spirit – sign of God at work,
   stronger, fuller, brighter at the end.
Lord, let me get home before dark.
Let Me Get Home
Before Dark
The darkness of tattered gifts,
   rust-locked, half-spent or ill-spent,
A life that once was used of God
   now set aside.
Grief for glories gone or
Fretting for a task God never gave.
Mourning in the hollow chambers of memory,
Gazing on the faded banners of victories long gone.
Cannot I run well unto the end?
Lord, let me get home before dark.
The outer me decays —
I do not fret or ask reprieve.
The ebbing strength but weans me from mother earth
   and grows me up for heaven.
I do not cling to shadows cast by immortality.
I do not patch the scaffold lent to build the real, eternal me.
I do not clutch about me my cocoon,
   vainly struggling to hold hostage
   a free spirit pressing to be born.
But will I reach the gate
   in lingering pain, body distorted, grotesque?
Or will it be a mind
   wandering un-tethered among light
   fantasies or grim terrors?
Of your grace, Father, I humbly ask…
Let me get home before dark.

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