A few days ago I received a copy of a book entitled ‘The Sword and the Trowel’ edited by Charles Spurgeon and published in 1879.
It is a truly fascinating book and I want to share with you this very tender poem that is included in the book, and which has a very powerful message; it is based on Matthew 18: 5.
Dark was the night, and cold the wintry wind,
When at my door a feeble knock I heard;
To leave the genial warmth I had no mind,
Until a thought of pity in my bosom stirred.
Perchance some traveller, wandering from his road,
In unknown parts was lost amid the storm;
Would ask the pathway to his own abode,
Or beg a shelter till the dawn of morn.
Bitter the gust which through the portal blew;
My light was quenched, the evening was so wild;
But, drenched and trembling, from the storm I drew,
All pale with fright, a little stranger child.
A little child, in thin and tattered garb;
All tangled by the wind his golden hair:
By no ill feature was his beauty marred,
I thought him one almost divinely fair.
I took away his torn and dripping dress,
And wrapped him in a raiment of my own:
He drank my cup, which first he sweetly blessed,
And shared the food I thought to eat alone.
I know not how it was, but all that night
Sweeter than e’er before was evening rest;
There seemed to hover round me beings bright,
And a sabbatic calm was in my breast.
With morning light I sought my storm-brought child,
And, lo! he was not there:
But in his place, all dignified and mild,
One filled his vacant chair.
A thorn-crown wore he on his regal brow,
A wound was in the hand he gently raised.
All filled with shame unto the dust I bowed,
While thus my evening ministry he praised.
“Heaven’s blessings on thee for thy kindly deed;
Such acts of mercy I do always see:
Feed thou a hungry little one in need
And thou hast made a royal feast for me.”
by Alfred Bax
With many peaceful blessings