if ever I have understood anything in this world

Anthony Esolen:
Whom have we in heaven, good psalmist, but the Lord? And the Lord saw our weakness, and came down to us as a babe, then a child, then a man, that we might break bread with Him, hear His voice, look into His eyes, and feel His touch. Many have been the days when I have stood alone on a crag of the soul, without a human hand to warm the shoulder, or a human voice to say, "I am with you always." But, time and again, the Lord has turned my gaze to see the child, my King, my God, naked in His mother's arms, or asleep in those swaddling bands, image of the shroud that also could not hold His glory. Much is wrong with the world. It will always be so. And our love hardly toddles, while we grow old in sin. The world brays out its pride, boasting of wealth and godless power. It has always done so. And we listen to the braying, and join in its witless song. But always there is the Babe, who speaks a world of love in His speechless simplicity.

I am far, far from the courage of the psalmist Asaph. But the Word has become flesh, and dwelt among us, and that gives me the warrant to say: If ever I have understood anything in this world, it was but a glimpse of You; if ever I have loved with but a trace of self-forgetting, it was You I loved. I am an old sinner in a cradle; be near me, Lord Jesus. I am a mere son of earth; raise me, to be born again. I am a witless man, who has wandered by the way; lead me to the place where you have gone. For whom have I in heaven but thee? And on earth there is none beside.


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