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 any thing.
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.
“Love bade me welcome. Yet my soul drew back/ Guilty of dust and sin.” How often do we balk at our own infirmities and unworthiness and draw back from merciful Love in shame. So many saints are quick to assure the Christian faithful that the great and almighty Lord is crazed with passion for even the basest sinner. He runs to rescue the fallen, dejected sheep, the stubborn, headstrong lamb. “But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack/ Drew nearer to me.” He never abandons, and rather, always runs toward the wayward and gently approaches the timid, ever “sweetly”, ever attentive and responsive to the inner workings of the heart of the beloved. “Do you lack any thing?” Is there anything I can give to you, can supply for you, to be more at ease with me?
Oh, but Love, I am not “worthy to be here”; either leave me for someone more worthy or fix me to be a better man. “Oh, but I indeed shall make you worthy,” replies Love with all tenderness and sweetness. I must turn my gaze away, for could I dare to look at pure brilliance with my soiled sight? But still He takes my hand and tells me that He Himself made mine eyes, so why should I not look at Him?
Ah, but these eyes are sullied now, no longer so bright and innocent as once they were. “I have marred them.” I’ve accrued a terrible, heavy shame. “Know you not...who bore the blame?” Indeed, I bore the blame for these sins, bore them to purify you anew. “My dear, then I will serve [you]. You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat.” So now, can we do “sit and eat”, eat freely of Love Himself, drink freely of the wine flowing from His lips, which bestow the kisses of His most lovely mouth into our very beings.
.October 27, 2017.
~It's been a little while, but I've been writing a lot this fall—honing my craft, so to speak—and I want to share some of the beauty I've encountered lately.
Dr. Regis Martin shared this poem in his class on Spirituality this October at the Clearwater School. It's really moved me and I wrote this little reflection on it. I hope it reminds you how very loved you are.