Years ago, I copied out this poem by George MacDonald, convicted by his obedience to God.
I didn’t know that I’d be living in a city myself.
Today marks exactly one year since my Dad drove me into Chicago. I remember last August 16 well.
There are things I can’t relate to in this poem, but I pray that I will have the willing heart that MacDonald did, to walk in the town. I ask too for his open eyes to see the sin around me and to do whatever Christ would have me do.
I said: “Let me walk in the fields.”
He said: “No, walk in the town.”
I said: “There are no flowers there.”
He said: “No flowers, but a crown.”
I said: “But the skies are black;
There is nothing but noise and din.”
And He wept as He sent me back –
“There is more,” He said; “there is sin.”
I said: “But the air is thick,
And fogs are veiling the sun.”
He answered: “Yet souls are sick,
And souls in the dark undone!”
I said: “I shall miss the light,
And friends will miss me, they say.”
He answered: “Choose tonight
If I am to miss you or they.”
I pleaded for time to be given.
He said: “Is it hard to decide?
It will not seem so hard in heaven
To have followed the steps of your Guide.”
I cast one look at the fields,
Then set my face to the town;
He said, “My child, do you yield?
Will you leave the flowers for the crown?”
Then into His hand went mine;
And into my heart came He;
And I walk in a light divine,
The path I had feared to see.