Monday, October 27, 2014

Meeting Jesus

A poor, wayfaring Man of grief
Hath often crossed me on my way,
Who sued so humbly for relief
That I could never answer nay.
I had not pow'r to ask his name,
Whereto he went, or whence he came;
Yet there was something in his eye
That won my love; I knew not why.

Once, when my scanty meal was spread,

He entered; not a word he spake,
Just perishing for want of bread.
I gave him all; he blessed it, brake,
And ate, but gave me part again.
Mine was an angel's portion then,
For while I fed with eager haste,
The crust was manna to my taste.

I spied him where a fountain burst

Clear from the rock; his strength was gone.
The heedless water mocked his thirst;
He heard it, saw it hurrying on.
I ran and raised the suff'rer up;
Thrice from the stream he drained my cup,
Dipped and returned it running o'er;
I drank and never thirsted more.

'Twas night; the floods were out; it blew

A winter hurricane aloof.
I heard his voice abroad and flew
To bid him welcome to my roof.
I warmed and clothed and cheered my guest
And laid him on my couch to rest,
Then made the earth my bed and seemed
In Eden's garden while I dreamed.

Stript, wounded, beaten nigh to death,

I found him by the highway side.
I roused his pulse, brought back his breath,
Revived his spirit, and supplied
Wine, oil, refreshment—he was healed.
I had myself a wound concealed,
But from that hour forgot the smart,
And peace bound up my broken heart.

In pris'n I saw him next, condemned

To meet a traitor's doom at morn.
The tide of lying tongues I stemmed,
And honored him 'mid shame and scorn.
My friendship's utmost zeal to try,
He asked if I for him would die.
The flesh was weak; my blood ran chill,
But my free spirit cried, "I will!"

Then in a moment to my view

The stranger started from disguise.
The tokens in his hands I knew;
The Savior stood before mine eyes.
He spake, and my poor name he named,
"Of me thou hast not been ashamed.
These deeds shall thy memorial be;
Fear not, thou didst them unto me."

This happens to be my favorite hymn.

It also happens to be the last song Joseph and Hyrum heard before they died.

John Taylor sang it to his friends to cheer them up in Carthage Jail on June 27, 1844. But, doing so, John still felt melancholy, so, though entreated to sing it again, he declined. Then Hyrum said, "Oh, never mind: commence singing and you will get the spirit of it."

So John sang the song again.

Moments later an armed mob stormed the poorly guarded jailhouse and shot Joseph and Hyrum dead. John, too, was wounded nigh to death.

I invite you to try an experiment upon the word with me. Today ... tomorrow ... the next day ... and every day hereafter ... for the rest of our lives ... let us try to interact with others, with everyone we meet, as if they were Jesus. Whether it's our spouse, our child, our parent, our teacher, our friend, our employee, our boss, our enemy, or the guy on the street begging for money...let us treat him or her as if they were Jesus.

How would you treat Jesus?

I am confident He appears...that He has appeared...many, many times, pretending to be a mere mortal. He has been known to walk in resurrected form, incognito, on a road to Emmaus. He was seen as though an ordinary man, yet He was the Immortal Messiah, who gathered fish and hot coals to cheer His tired, hungry friends by the seashore.

He can appear to us.

He said, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matthew 25:40.) I think He meant that literally. We have the chance to "meet" Him every day. In every encounter.

How we treat others is how we would treat Him.

When we habitually interact with others as we imagine we would like to interact with Him, then we will be welcomed into His presence. Then He will unveil His signs and tokens to us: the marks in His side, hands and feet. Only then we will know what to say and do.

For we will have had much practice.

Only then will we see Him as He truly is. Or, in other words, only then will we see Him as He truly sees us. For we will, at last, in some small way, be like Him, seeing others as He sees others.

That's why we seek Him. That's why we seek His face continually. To become like Him. To be with Him.

To be like Jesus.

I'm trying to be like Jesus; I'm following in his ways.
I'm trying to love as he did, in all that I do and say.
At times I am tempted to make a wrong choice,
But I try to listen as the still small voice whispers, 
Love one another as Jesus loves you.
Try to show kindness in all that you do.
Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought,
For these are the things Jesus taught. 
I'm trying to love my neighbor; I'm learning to serve my friends.
I watch for the day of gladness when Jesus will come again.
I try to remember the lessons he taught.
Then the Holy Spirit enters into my thoughts, saying: 
Love one another as Jesus loves you.
Try to show kindness in all that you do.
Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought,
For these are the things Jesus taught.
I invite you to join with me. Let us "commence singing and", I believe, we "will get the spirit of it."


  1. James 1:27
    27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

    I was originally going to remark, sarcastically, that pure religion is not generally very popular with readers. But I suppose it all depends on the company one desires to keep, doesn't it?

  2. When I read the Second Comforter, I kept getting the feeling, throughout the whole time I was reading it, that "meeting" the Savior in the manner you are describing here, day after day, in our actions and also in our hearts, is an absolute prerequisite to receiving an "audience" with our Lord in the manner described in that book, and is also actually much more important.

    My weakness is to be able to keep on doing it, what with all the distractions of the world we are faced with.

  3. How did I do my first day! Horrible! Old habits die hard.

    Keep on singing!