I started this poem who knows when and then filed it. After I had discovered it among some papers I read what I had written to my wife Mary. She said, “You should finish that.” So I did.
Words of beauty, which found no place
Within this cold and wicked heart
That with my God would have no part.
I, who had in Adam sinned,
Thereby became corrupt within.
An enemy of God was I:
to his refuge I would not fly.
An enemy — yet so much more!
For against him I was at war.
A rebel who could do no good,
and wouldn't — even if I could.
I railed against His Majesty —
the One who had created me.
I fought with him at every turn;
his proffered mercies I did spurn.
I did not know nor understand
— for I am but a puny man —
that none can fight against the Lord
and wrest him of his mighty sword.
“Sinner! Sinner! You are undone!
There is no place that you can run.
Put down your arms and quit your fight!
None can endure my awful might!
“Turn ye! Turn ye! Why will you die?
Turn! Turn! — and to my bosom fly!
Lay down your arms, and to me come
Give up your fight, you are undone.”
Yet, deaf was I and could not hear
the words of doom that reached my ear.
My heart was hard, and just as cold,
Weighted down with a heavy load.
A son of disobedience,
Spiritual things made no sense.
Dead was I —dead in my sin —
But soon there’d be new life within.
Behind the scenes, within my soul,
God was working to bring me low.
afraid was I
Afraid to live, afraid to die.
Then came love — such tender love
From God himself, who lives above;
Love that wiped away my tears,
Love that vanquished all my fears.
A Love that entered deep within,
A love that paid for all my sin;
A love that brought God down to man,
A love that gave me life again.
Now I to him do belong.
Within my heart he put a song —
A song of praise, a song of peace,
A song of joy and of release.
Soon I’ll be in heaven’s land
And before my Lord I will stand.
I who was a child of Hell
Will with my God forever dwell.
‘Tis more than I can comprehend,
That God loved me enough to send
His son to meet the Law’s demand.
That is so great, that is too grand.
Poured out freely on Adam’s race.
That I should stand before his face.
© 2007, 2015 Willard Paul