Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | March 2, 2009


SHE chose His service.  For the Lord of Love
     Had chosen her, and paid the awful price
For her redemption; and had sought her out,
And set her free, and clothed her gloriously,
And put His royal ring upon her hand,
And crowns of lovingkindness on her head.
She chose it.  Yet it seemed she could not
The fuller measure other lives could bring;
For He had given her a precious gift,
A treasure and a charge to prize and keep,
A tiny hand, a darling hand, that traced
On her heart’s tablet words of golden love.
And there was not much room for other lines,
For time and thought were spent, (and rightly
For He had given the charge,) and hours and
Were concentrated on the one dear task.

   But He had need of her.  Not one new
But many, for His crown;–not one fair sheaf,
But many, she should bring.  And she should
A richer, happier harvest-home at last,
Because more fruit, more glory and more praise,
Her life should yield to Him.  And so He
The Master came Himself, and gently took
The little hand in His, and gave it room
Among the angel-harpers.  Jesus came
And laid His own hand on the quivering heart,
And made it very still, that He might write
Invisible words of power–“Free to Serve!”
Then through the darkness and the chill He
A heat-ray of His love, developing
The mystic writing, till it glowed and shone
And lit up all her life with radiance new,–
The happy service of a yielded heart.
With comfort that He never ceased to give
(Because her need could never cease) she filled
The empty chalices of other lives,
And time and thought were thenceforth spent
     For Him
Who loved her with His everlasting love.

   Let Him write what He will upon our hearts
With His unerring pen.   They are His own,
Hewn from the rock by His selecting grace,
Prepared for His own glory.  Let Him write!
Be sure He will not cross out one sweet word
But to inscribe a sweeter,–but to grave
One that shall shine for ever to His praise,
And thus fulfil our deepest heart-desire.
The tearful eye at first may read the line
“Bondage to grief!”  but He shall wipe away
The tears, and clear the vision, till it read
In ever-brightening letters, “Free to serve!”
For whom the Son makes free is free indeed.

   Not only by reclaiming His good gifts,
But by withholding, doth the Master write
These words upon the heart.  Not always needs
Erasure of some bless`ed line of love
For this more blest inscription.  Where He
A tablet empty for the “lines left out,”
That “might have been” engraved with
     human love
And sweetest human cares, yet never bore
That poetry of life, His own dear hand
Writes, “Free to serve!”  And these clear
Fill with fair colours all the unclaimed space,
Else grey and colourless.
                                                 Then let it be
The motto of our lives until we stand
In the great freedom of Eternity,
Where we “shall serve Him” while we see
     His face,
For ever and for ever “Free to serve.”

Frances Ridley Havergal from “UNDER HIS SHADOW.”



  1. Just dropping by. Btw, your website has great content!

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