Monday, June 19, 2006
"I cast one look at the field, Then set my face to the town".
This is going to be one of those posts where friends send us private emails: “Are you doing OK? Really?” For the record, we are doing great. But Laurel and I both heard a sermon the other day which resonated.
We have loved NYC. There are lots of great things about being here. And at the same time, we have found it difficult living in the Gothom City. Laurel especially has to spend most of her day with 2 kids in a city without a car for escape. We cannot believe how much people spit on the sidewalk here. And the subway is not friendly to anyone who relies on wheels.
We were praying at a Prayer Breakfast for our Church last week, and the speaker recited the following poem by George MacDonald. It convicted us both.
As I quote this poem, I also think of my father, who is assisting with the running of a hospital in a part of Pakistan that must feel like the end of the earth.
NYC and Tank, Pakistan -- Two places where there are "no flowers" [or not many at least].
George MacDonald -- "What Christ Said":
I said, "Let me walk in the fields,
He said, "Nay, walk in the town;
I said, "There are no flowers there,
He said, "No flowers, but a crown."
I said, "But the sky is black,
There is nothing but noise and din.
But He wept as He sent me back;
There is more," He said, "there is sin."
I said, "But the air is thick,
And fogs are veiling the sun.
He answered, "Yet hearts are sick,
And souls in the dark undone."
I said, "I shall miss the light,
And friends will miss me, they say.
He answered me, "Choose tonight
If I am to miss you, or they."
I pleaded for time to be given;
He said, "Is it hard to decide
It will not seem hard in heaven
To have followed the steps of your guide."
I cast one look at the field,
Then set my face to the town;
He said, "My child, do you yield?
Will you leave the flowers for the crown?"
Then into His hand went mine,
And into my heart came He,
And I walk in a light divine
The path I had feared to see!