"...if we be honest with ourselves,
we shall be honest with each other." ~ George MacDonald
"...if we be honest with ourselves,
we shall be honest with each other." ~ George MacDonald

Listen

What is it, father dear,
That he would have me do?
I'd ask himself, but he's not near,
And so I must ask you!

The Father answers.

Me 'tis no use to ask,
I too am one of his boys!
But he tells each boy his own plain task;
Listen, and hear his voice.

Willie speaks.

Father, I'm listening so
To hear him if I may!
His voice must either be very low,
Or very far away!

The Father answers.

It is neither hard to hear,
Nor hard to understand;
It is very low, but very near,
A still, small, strong command.

Willie answers.

I do not hear it at all;
I am only hearing you!

The Father speaks.

Think: is there nothing, great or small,
You ought to go and do?

Willie answers.

Let me think:-I ought to feed
My rabbits. I went away
In such a hurry this morning! Indeed
They've not had enough to-day!

The Father speaks.

That is his whisper low!
That is his very word!
You had only to stop and listen, and so
Very plainly you heard!

That duty's the little door:
You must open it and go in;
There is nothing else to do before,
There is nowhere else to begin.

Willie speaks.

But that's so easily done!
It's such a trifling affair!
So nearly over as soon as begun.
For that he can hardly care!

The Father answers.

You are turning from his call
If you let that duty wait;
You would not think any duty small
If you yourself were great. (From the poem, Willie’s Question by George MacDonald)*

 

 

We are not losing something when we do what Jesus asks, we are gaining something. From the world’s perspective we are giving something up, but not from God’s. And it’s God’s perspective we should adopt. If we think we are giving something up, we have already lost our way.

"When my child would serve me," he went on," he spies out some need I have, springs from his seat at my knee, finds that which will meet my necessity, and is my eager, happy servant, of consequence in his own eyes inasmuch as he has done something for his father. His seat by my knee is love, delight, well-being, peace--not service, however pleasing in my eyes.--'Why do you seat yourself at my knee, my son?' 'To please you, father.' 'Nay then, my son! go from me, and come again when it shall be to please thyself.'--'Why do you cling to my chair, my daughter? 'Because I want to be near you, father. It makes me so happy!' 'Come nearer still--come to my bosom, my child, and be yet happier.' (Taken from Thomas Wingfold, Curate by George MacDonald)

There is no greater joy, there is no higher form of self-service, than trusting and obeying Jesus.

Postmodernism and Slave Morality

 

*The entire poem can be read here.