Saturday, March 12, 2016

Wilde: the broken gates

Saturday, March 12, 2016
    For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.
    —Isaiah 57:15 (ESV)
And thus we rust Life’s iron chain
    Degraded and alone:
And some men curse, and some men weep,
    And some men make no moan:
But God’s eternal Laws are kind
    And break the heart of stone.

And every human heart that breaks,
    In prison-cell or yard,
Is as that broken box that gave
    Its treasure to the Lord,
And filled the unclean leper’s house
    With the scent of costliest nard.

Ah! happy they whose hearts can break
    And peace of pardon win!
How else may man make straight his plan
    And cleanse his soul from sin?
How else but through a broken heart
    May Lord Christ enter in?
    ... Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), from The Ballad of Reading Gaol [1898], in The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde, v. IV, Oxford University Press, 2000, p. 215 (see the book)
    See also Isa. 57:15; Ps. 34:18; 51:17; 147:3; Matt. 5:3,8; Rev. 3:20
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have granted brokenness to Your servants.

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