The Safe Place

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I went to Jesus with a prayer
Upon a suppliant’s knee;
Low at His cross I laid me down,
Nor asked His face to see,
Yet whispered in His ear the tale
No mortal ear could bear:
The story of a faithless heart,
And of its self-despair.

I told Him how my feet had slipped,
How often gone astray;
How oft my heart refused to love,
My lips refused to pray.
In stammering words that none but He
Hearing could understand,
I made complaint of careless work
Done by a careless hand.

Of wasted hours, of idle words,
Of love oft waxing dim,
Of silence when a warmer heart
Had testified of Him.
I owned my weak and selfish ways;
How often all day long,
Moanings and sighs had filled His ears
To whom I owed a song.
And what said He? What whispered words
Responded unto mine?
Did He reproach me? Did His love
On me refuse to shine?

Nay, thus He spoke, and bent Him low
To reach my anxious ear,
My child, thou doest well to lie
As thou art lying here ;
I knew thy human weakness, knew
Each lurking bosom sin,
Knew it, and yet in loving grace
Thy heart I stooped to win.

I knew that thou wouldst often fall,
Poor work for Me wouldst do,
Wouldst give Me only half thy love,
Give praises faint and few.
And yet I choose thee. Be content
And since thou canst not fly
To heights by dearer souls attained,
Let it suffice to lie

Here at My feet; it is the place
To which My loved ones flee;
They find it sweet, and so shalt thou;
‘Tis a safe place for thee.
Yes, it is sweet, and it is safe!
And here will I abide;
Sinful, and yet forgiven, sad,
And yet so satisfied.

Elizabeth Prentiss

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