::R3665 : page 342::
IN THE GARDEN OF THE LORD
Last night I dreamed the Master came to me and gently said,
“Beloved, lay thy cross aside and come with me awhile,
For I would have thee rest within the garden of the Lord.”
And then he took my trembling hand and led me through the gloom
Until we came to where a massive gateway barred our path.
The gates were closed, but opened at the Master’s sweet command.
We entered, and the shadows fled before his radiant smile.
Oh, vision rapturous, can words be found to tell how fair!
Ten thousand roses beckoned with Love’s crimson hue, and round
About our feet the violets nestled in their purple grief.
A passion flower, sad symbol of his dying agony,
Entwined itself with orchids rare, fair children of the air;
While velvet pansies, clothed in royalty, together grew
With lovely, clinging, pink and white sweet-peas, and close beside
The lilies of the valley bent in sweet humility;
And everywhere the tender grass—a carpet soft and cool.
And often as we passed, the Master’s hand with loving touch
Did rest upon some drooping flower, and lo! at once it seemed
Refreshed. At last we came to where a stately lily stood,
Its snowy crown uplifted like a chime of silver bells,
Whose swaying filled the garden with a fragrance sweet and rare.
We closer drew, and then I saw, alas! how here and there
A petal fair was torn and brown, as though by some rude wind
Or scorching heat. I wondered greatly at the sight, then turned,
The question on my lips,—when suddenly there rose a storm
So fierce that every flower in the garden bent its head;
And then a shower of flaming arrows, hurled by shadowy forms
Outside the garden’s ivy-covered walls, rained down upon
The lilies, while I clung in terror to my Heavenly Guide.
A moment only did the storm prevail, and then I heard
The Master’s “Peace, be still!” The tempest ceased and there was calm,
The wondrous light grew dim, the garden vanished,—and I woke.
The Master had not spoken thus, and yet I seemed to know
The fair dream-garden was a picture of his “little ones,”
(He neither sleeps nor slumbers in his watch-care over these).
And then the thought,—if in this garden I might choose my place,
Would I be like the rose? Ah, no! lest in my passionate zeal
To show by works my heart of love, I should forget the thorns,
Dear Lord, and wound thy loving hand! Ah, then, perhaps I would
The lily be, and sound thy blessed Truth o’er land and sea
In clear-toned eloquence. Ah! no, I might not bear the storms
That beat upon the one whose head thou hast uplifted far
Above his fellows,—and a shining mark for Satan’s darts!
And thus I thought on each and all that garden’s lovely ones,
Then cried, “My blessed Lord, if I might choose, oh, let me be
The tender grass, that I may rest and soothe thy weariness,—
A lowly place, safe sheltered from the wind and fiery dart,—
What rapture this—to lay down life itself beneath thy feet.”
—G. W. Seibert, Sept. 30th, 1905.
— November 15, 1905 —