Grif.Net

03/27/21 Weekend Grif.Net – Let Me Get Home Before Dark

03/27/21 Weekend Grif.Net – Let Me Get Home Before Dark

[In the big city, my parents told me, “When the street lights =
come on, you come home. Immediately.  Yours probably reminded you =
by saying something similar, like “Be home before dark.” In =
areas not served by electricity, travelers feel a pressing need to reach =
their destination while light still lingers in the sky. “Home =
before dark” means a successful journey and a safe =
arrival.
 As veteran Missionaries to Japan and =
later President of Columbia College, Robertson McQuilkin and his wife =
Muriel took a 3-day retreat to reflect and pray in 1981 (as they’d =
passed 50 years of age and thinking about mortality), and
he wrote this prayer =
to express his desire to remain faithful to the Lord through the next =
part of his spiritual journey.]

 

It&=
#8217;s sundown, Lord.

 

The=
shadows of my life stretch back
into the dimness of the years long =
spent.
I fear not death, for that grim foe betrays himself at =
last,
thrusting me forever into life:

 

Lif=
e with You, unsoiled and free.
But I do fear.
I fear the Dark =
Spectre may come too soon
– or do I mean, too late?
That I should =
end before I finish or
finish, but not well.
That I should stain =
Your honor, shame Your name,
grieve Your loving heart.

Few=
, they tell me, finish well . . .
Lord, let me get home before =
dark.

 

The=
darkness of a spirit
grown mean and small,
fruit shriveled on the =
vine,
bitter to the taste of my companions,
burden to be borne by =
those brave few
who love me still.
No, Lord. Let the fruit grow =
lush and sweet,
A joy to all who taste;
Spirit-sign of God at =
work,
stronger, fuller, brighter at the end.
Lord, let me get home =
before dark.

 

The=
darkness of tattered gifts,
rust-locked, half-spent or =
ill-spent,
A life that once was used of God
now set =
aside.
Grief for glories gone or
Fretting for a task God never =
gave.
Mourning in the hollow chambers of memory,
Gazing on the =
faded banners of victories long gone.
Cannot I run well unto the =
end?
Lord, let me get home before dark.

 

The=
outer me decays –
I do not fret or ask reprieve.
The ebbing =
strength but weans me from mother earth
and grows me up for =
heaven.
I do not cling to shadows cast by immortality.
I do not =
patch the scaffold lent to build the real, eternal me.
I do not =
clutch about me my cocoon,
vainly struggling to hold hostage
a =
free spirit pressing to be born.

 

But=
will I reach the gate
in lingering pain, body distorted, =
grotesque?
Or will it be a mind
wandering untethered among light =
phantasies or grim terrors?

 

Of =
Your grace, Father, I humbly ask . . .
Let me get home before =
dark.

 

[Th=
at fall, Muriel was diagnosed with onset-Alzheimer’s.  He =
watched her failing and then by 1990 made the conscious choice to resign =
his position as a college president and care for her.  Muriel died =
in 2003.

Robertson later joined her in heaven in 2016, after =
keeping the vows he’d made on their wedding day.  I think he =
got home before dark.]

 

~~

Dr Bob Griffin =

bob@grif.net =
www.grif.net

"Jesus =
Knows Me, This I Love!"