TITLE: From Isaiah 61
By Elizabeth Baize
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The darkness closed about me;
My tears began to flow.
The pain that I was suffering
No other soul could know.
My shackles were so heavy;
They cut me to the bone,
But what was there to hope for?
These sorrows were my own.
I cried out and heard no answer;
In despair I mourned and wept.
I poured the ashes on my head
Then to my side He stepped.
He knelt beside this wretched case
His voice fell on my ear,
“I’ve come to bring good tidings
That the Lord wants you to hear.”
I sat in silence stunned and weak
I knew not what to say.
Good tidings are too late for me –
I’ll not live to see the day.
Again, the voice fell on my ear,
“My child, your pain I share.”
I looked up in His face to find
My sorrows written there.
He reached His hand and touched my bonds.
They shattered at His touch;
“I came to give you liberty
From sins so fatal clutch.
For all your sin I gave my life
I left death in the grave.
Now life I offer as a gift
You and the world to save.”
“But Lord, my heart is broken,
And ashes crown my head!”
I came to heal your broken heart
And comfort you,” He said.
“Those ashes that now crown your brow
You must with this replace –
A garland fresh and beautiful –
A symbol of My grace.”
The oil of gladness He then took,
My head He did anoint.
“You are an heir of promise, child
With a place the Lord does appoint.”
I tried to stand upon my feet,
But sank back to the ground.
He raised me up and pointed
To the shroud that ‘round me wound.
“This is a cloak of fainting
No part with you it plays.”
He placed within my hands a robe –
A mantle full of praise.
He led me out into the light;
I stood, uncumbered, free.
Rejoicing there, I watched Him as
He pointed to a tree.
“You see the oak that stands so firm?
Its branches fill the skies!
Though seasons come and seasons go,
‘Look to the Lord!’ it cries.”
He turned His full gaze back to me;
His words, they struck a chord,
“You are an oak of righteousness,
A planting of the Lord!”
How could I bear in any way
The semblance of an oak?
I am so weak in every way
Yet, wait, again He spoke.
“Yes, you will stand and share My name
With strength that comes from Me.
That all the glory and the praise
May God the Father’s be.”
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