Poetry Saturday—On Another’s Sorrow

Can I see another’s woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another’s grief,
And not seek for kind relief?

Can I see a falling tear,
And not feel my sorrow’s share?
Can a father see his child
Weep, nor be with sorrow filled?

Can a mother sit and hear
An infant groan, an infant fear?
No, no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!

And can He who smiles on all
Hear the wren with sorrows small,
Hear the small bird’s grief and care,
Hear the woes that infants bear—

And not sit beside the next,
Pouring pity in their breast,
And not sit the cradle near,
Weeping tear on infant’s tear?

And not sit both night and day,
Wiping all our tears away?
Oh no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!
He doth give His joy to all:
He becomes an infant small,
He becomes a man of woe,
He doth feel the sorrow too.

Think not thou canst sigh a sigh,
And thy Maker is not by:
Think not thou canst weep a tear,
And thy Maker is not near.

Oh He gives to us His joy,
That our grief He may destroy:
Till our grief is fled an gone
He doth sit by us and moan. —William Blake

Life’s Hardest Work

I’ve been reading through the life of Joseph in the Bible. If anyone had a lot to forgive, it was Joseph:

  • Sold out by his own brothers
  • Falsely accused and imprisoned
  • Forgotten in prison
  • Waiting years and years for God’s promise

Yet, he forgave so fully and so freely. Forgiveness isn’t easy. In fact, it may be one of the hardest things to do.

Here are a few quotes I’m mulling about forgiveness:

“We all agree that forgiveness is a beautiful idea until we have to practice it.” —C.S. Lewis

“For we find that the work of forgiveness has to be done over and over again. We forgive, we mortify our resentment; a week later some chain of thought carries us back to the original offense and we discover the old resentment blazing away as if nothing had been done about it at all. We need to forgive our brother seventy times seven not only for 490 offenses but for one offense.” —C.S. Lewis

“The glory of Christianity is to conquer by forgiveness.” —William Blake

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.” —Mahatma Gandhi

“Forgiveness is love’s toughest work.” —Lewis Smedes

It is hard work, but the results are so worth it. Don’t let your life be controlled by someone who wronged you in the past. Forgive them and free yourself.

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