by Hosanna Lovegren
“He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.” Isaiah 53:3
A homeless Stranger amongst us came,
To this land of death and mourning;
He walked in a path of sorrow and shame
Through insult and hate and scorning,
A man of sorrows, of toil and tears,
An outcast man and lonely;
But he looked at me and through endless years,
Him must I love, him only.
+++May Whittle Moody, 1916
I came across this little poem recently while reading a book about Lilias Trotter. I tried to find it online and found that it’s really only the first verse of a hymn which was probably sung at Dwight Moody’s gatherings in the early part of the 20th century. Lilias Trotter attended these gatherings and was deeply affected by them. It must have been songs and thoughts like these which caused her to make the unlikely decision to turn her back on an artistic career for the very long and unglamorous life that she had ministering to Muslims in Africa.
This week we too reflect on such things and the meaning they have for us. We remember that the one who saved us and loved us once walked a lonely and excruciating road to the cross, “through insult and hate and scorning.” With loud cries and tears, he cried out to his father in heaven and his father heard him because of his “reverent submission.” He was saved out of the depths of death, and became “the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.” (Hebrews 5:7-9)
Man of sorrows, what a name.
As May Moody wrote so long ago, Him must I love, him only.