Once upon a time there was a king whose castle was filled with magic mirrors (gifts of a wizard). Each one of the mirrors could show anyone who looked into it things strange and wonderful from all over the whole wide world.
Sadly, whenever anyone in the royal family spoke to anyone else in the royal family, he had to repeat everything he had JUST SAID because the one he had been speaking to was too entranced by a magic mirror to hear him the first time.
“Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?” – Jesus.
Lately I have been thinking about the story of the Deep Creek Massacre where, in Hell’s Canyon In 1887, more than 30 unsuspecting Chinese Miners were ambushed and murdered by a gang of horse thieves. How often murderers victimize those whom they think no cares about! They probably felt these were nameless unknowns among the thousands of Chinese workers who had come over – strangers in the middle of nowhere. Who would miss them? Who would advocate for them? They murdered them, stole their gold, and sent their bodies floating down the Snake River.
But some of the corpses were washed down to Lewiston – and someone did know them; the Sam Yup company of San Francisco who employed them had a reckoning of the murdered miners, and investigated and advocated to bring the murderers to justice. The Chinese consulate in SF also got involved. But, in this life, no one was punished for the crime – some of the murderers escaped the arm of the law, and those who were brought to trial were acquitted.
Today Americans are murdering (or standing with the murderers of) those whom they think no one knows or keeps a reckoning of, the nameless. But they are wrong. God knows every fallen sparrow and he knows every baby not yet born that is killed today. Unlike our courts, no one slips away from his judgment, and, unlike our courts, “he will not at all acquit the wicked”(Nahum 1:3) We should take warning from His word to us, ”the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” (just as what happened in Hell’s Canyon came to light) (Isaiah 26:21)
Friends, things haven’t changed since God revealed the only cure for murderous sinners like us when Jesus was cursed and killed for our sins. Trusting he died for your sins is still the only way to be saved. Americans don’t need more hand-sanitizer or more appearance of respectability; our only hope is the blood of Jesus. ~Watchful
I love this poem. The words flow naturally as in so many of Christina’s poems, and here they have a breathlessness like the feeble prayers of someone collapsed from exhaustion. I think the climax is at “Rebuild my faith”, and I love the declaration of dependence that goes with that prayer “I will arise and run, Thou giving me breath.” ~ Watchful
I Will Arise
by Christina Rossetti
Weary and weak,–accept my weariness;
Weary and weak and downcast in my soul,
With hope growing less and less,
And with the goal
Distant and dim,–accept my sore distress.
I thought to reach the goal so long ago,
At outset of the race I dreamed of rest,
Not knowing what now I know
Of breathless haste,
Of long-drawn straining effort across the waste.
One only thing I knew, Thy love of me;
One only thing I know, Thy sacred same
Love of me full and free,
A craving flame
Of selfless love of me which burns in Thee.
How can I think of thee, and yet grow chill;
Of Thee, and yet grow cold and nigh to death?
Re-energize my will,
Rebuild my faith;
I will arise and run, Thou giving me breath.
I will arise, repenting and in pain;
I will arise, and smite upon my breast
And turn to Thee again;
Thou choosest best,
Lead me along the road Thou makest plain.
Lead me a little way, and carry me
A little way, and listen to my sighs,
And store my tears with Thee,
And deign replies
To feeble prayers;–O Lord, I will arise.
“And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it” (Luke 19:41)
Did Christ o’er sinners weep,
And shall our cheeks be dry?
Let floods of penitential grief
Burst forth from every eye.
The Son of God in tears
The wondering angels see:
Be thou astonished, O my soul;
He shed those tears for thee.
He wept that we might weep;
Each sin demands a tear;
In heaven alone no sin is found,
And there’s no weeping there.
Jesus was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Who would choose sorrow? But on the other hand, should you choose delusion and not be aware of the truth? Should you numb yourself so as not to feel it?
In Luke 19 Jesus is weeping over Jerusalem, knowing the judgment that will come on her. There is a misconception that knowledge detaches us from emotion, but Jesus was the one who really knew how terrible the sins of Jerusalem were, and the reality of her coming judgment. And knowing, he wept. But could he have known and just hardened his heart so as not to feel the pain?
That would be a reduction impossible for the perfect man. Love is both action and emotion in God and man, made in his image; how could either part of love be cut out of the perfect man, the Son of God ?
(I’m trying to encourage myself in this post not to hide my heart away from compassion, even if it means pain.)
Anyone wanting to flee the pain of knowing the truth and feeling compassion remember this before you throw away your heart- remember that your hearts only use is not for sorrow, but joy as well! Jesus knew of coming joy beyond the weeping.
Promised in Isaiah 65 is this: “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.” (Isaiah 65:17-19)
And specifically this joy in the day of glory is for those who mourned for her in the bad days,
“Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her” (Isaiah 66:10)
So let’s not benumb ourselves from feeling anything, let’s weep for sin and death, (in ourselves and everyone) and joy in God’s restoration and salvation. ~Watchful