My middle son was memorizing a poem for school by Martha Snell Nicholson. I could not remember why that name was significant – until Dianne reminded me that she was also the author of The Thorn.
It is past time to bring it here again.
(a “mendicant” is a beggar)
I stood a mendicant of God before His royal throne
And begged him for one priceless gift, which I could call my own.
I took the gift from out His hand, but as I would depart
I cried, “But Lord this is a thorn and it has pierced my heart.
This is a strange, a hurtful gift, which Thou hast given me.”
He said, “My child, I give good gifts and gave My best to thee.”
I took it home and though at first the cruel thorn hurt sore,
As long years passed I learned at last to love it more and more.
I learned He never gives a thorn without this added grace,
He takes the thorn to pin aside the veil which hides His face.
–Martha Snell Nicholson
God is kind to give us writers who help us understand one of the purposes of our pain is to reveal more of Jesus – the greatest gift of all.
(Note: This poem was read during Pastor John’s 2001 Sermon, “To Be a Mother is a Call to Suffer.“)