A friend of mine passed away recently. I will officiate his memorial service tomorrow. He once shared a devotional entry by Elisabeth Elliot at a time I needed to hear it. The sonnet below is once that though I keep re-working it, it will always be in memory of his ministry to me. The sonnet is based on Elliot’s entry in A Lamp Unto My Feet which you may read below.
Elisabeth Elliot, A Lamp Unto My Feet. “Someone who is suffering as a result of his or her own foolishness or failure may read these words. These griefs are hard indeed to bear, for we feel we might easily have avoided them. We have no one to blame but ourselves, and there isn’t much consolation there. Sometimes we imagine that we must bear this kind of trouble alone, but that is a mistake. The Lamb of God, slain for us, has borne all of our griefs and carried all of our sorrows, no matter what their origin. All grief and sorrow is the result of sin somewhere along the line, but Christ received them willingly. It is nothing but pride that keeps me from asking Him to help me to bear the troubles which are my own fault. ‘Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,’ take away mine.”
If you’d like to listen to me read the poem, you may do so via the player below.
Thank you, Lord, for Mark.
These griefs and sorrows are hard to bear, This bed that I made in which I now lie; Had I avoided the obvious snare, I'd have the pearls I’ve trampled in this sty. The griefs and troubles I’ve made, are my own; Are mine to face, figure out, make no plea For any help. I must do it alone. There’s no one to blame, share the pain, just me. All grief and sorrow comes somewhere from sin, But Christ took them all, and willingly bore All our sins whate’er the origin. Even though they’re your fault don’t be proud, implore: Lamb of God who takes the world’s sins away Take the troubles I’ve made, take my sins today. © Randall Edwards 2021
Artwork original: James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). Saint John the Baptist Sees Jesus from Afar (Saint Jean-Baptiste voit Jésus de loin), 1886-1894. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Image: 6 x 9 1/4 in. (15.2 x 23.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription, 00.159.48 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 00.159.48_PS2.jpg)