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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Calvary Love

I heard this poem by Amy Carmichael being read yesterday. How convicting...
If

If I can easily discuss the shortcomings and the sins of any;
If I can speak in a casual way even of a child’s misdoings,
Then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I can enjoy a joke at the expense of another;
If I can in any way slight another in conversation, or even in thought,
Then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I can write an unkind letter, speak an unkind word,
Think an unkind thought without grief and shame,
Then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If in dealing with one who does not respond,
I weary of the strain and slip from under the burden,
Then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I’m afraid to speak the truth lest I lose affection,
Or lest the one concerned should say, "You do not understand,"
Or because I fear to lose my reputation for kindness;
If I put my own good name before the other’s highest good,
Then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I hold onto choices of any kind, just because they are my choice;
If I give any room to my private likes and dislikes,
Then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I do not give a friend "the benefit of the doubt,"
But put the worst construction instead of the best on what is said or done,
Then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I take offense easily; If I am content to continue in a cool unfriendliness,
though friendship be possible,
Then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If a sudden jar or jolt can cause me to speak an impatient, unloving word,
Then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I feel bitterly toward those who condemn me,
as it seems to me, unjustly,
Forgetting that if they knew me as I know myself they would condemn me much more,
Then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I say, "Yes, I forgive, but I cannot forget,"
as though the God, who twice a day washes all the sands
on all the shores of all the world,
could not wash such memories from my mind,
Then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If monotony tries me,
If stupid people fret me and little ruffles set me on edge;
If I make much of the trifles of life,
Then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I am inconsiderate about the comfort of others, or their feelings,
or even of their little weaknesses;
If I’m careless about their little hurts and miss opportunities to smooth their way;
If I make the sweet running of household wheels more difficult to accomplish,
Then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If interruptions annoy me,
and private cares make me impatient;
If I shadow the souls about me because I myself am shadowed,
Then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If something I’m asked to do for another feels burdensome;
If, yielding to an inward unwillingness,
I avoid doing it,
Then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If the praise of man elates me and his blame depresses me;
If I cannot rest under misunderstanding without defending myself;
If I love to be loved more than to love,
Then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If the burden my Lord asks me to bear be not the burden of my heart’s choice,
And I fret inwardly and do not welcome His will,
Then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I covet anyplace on earth but the dust at the foot of the cross,
Then I know nothing of Calvary love.

Thankful for Calvary's love,

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