Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | February 13, 2009

The Master’s Working

                                                                                     March 19, 1874.

   DEAR  Mr. W_____,
   .  .  .I can never set myself to write verse.  I believe my King suggests a thought and whispers me a musical line or two, and then I look up and thank Him delightedly, and go on with it.  That is how the hymns and poems come.  Just now there is silence.  I have not had the least stir of music in my mind since I wrote that tiny consecration hymn, a most unusually long interval; and till He sends it there will be none.  I am always ready to welcome it and work it when it comes but I never press for it.  .  .

   And the following letter confirms this statement:

   DEAR Mr. W_____,
   I can’t make you quite understand me!  You say “F. R. H. could do ‘satisfied’ grandly!”  No, she couldn’t!  Not unless He gave it me line by line.  That is how verses come.  The Master has not put a chest of poetic gold into my possession and said, “Now use it as you like!”  But He keeps the gold, and gives it me piece by piece just when He will and as much as He will, and no more. Some day perhaps He will send me a bright line of verse on “Satisfied” ringing through my mind, and then I shall look up and thank Him, and say, “Now, dear Master, give me another to rhyme with it, and then another;”  and then perhaps He will send it all in one flow of musical thoughts, but more likely one at a time, that I may be kept asking Him for every line.  There, that is the process, and you see there is no “I can do it” at all.  That isn’t His way with me.  I often smile to myself when people talk about “gifted pen” or “clever verses,” etc.; because they don’t know that it is neither, but something really much nicer than being “talented” or “clever.”

Frances Ridley Havergal from MEMORIALS


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