176. We Are Thy Sense-burned Children, Wailing for Thy Help

The fascinating orange‐red fire of false pleasures attracted us, Thy children, to play with its gay, leaping flames. Thy silent voice warned us of the scorching power of those flames — so pleasing at first, but so soul‐desecrating. Eagerly, however, we rushed toward the flames, trying to seize them; in so doing, we experienced brief exhilaration. Some of us plunged hands greedily into the devouring blaze, badly scorching their fingers of ambition. Resultant wounds, sores of disappointment, and pustules of satiety made them wail for Thee — but only sometimes, and then only for Thy help.

O Patient Physician, Thou art ever near us with Thy unfailing unguent of forgiveness and love. Teach us to heed Thy warning of pain and disappointment, that we learn to offer Thee joyous songs, and not helpless wails as we writhe complainingly in unnecessary pain.

We are Thy heedless children, allured by the playthings of the world. Teach us at last to play only with the cooling, divinely scintillating light of the Spirit.

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177. Blow Thy Music Through My Shattered Reed