Let’s move on from “bibliolatry” to something more positive. (Interestingly, one day this past week, this blog registered a record 82 visits from the web, which means a lot of you were sharing the link. “Bibliolatry” was one of the hottest topics, so thanks to the faithful!).
My choice for favorite American poet of the 19th century would astound many of the scholars. It’s Fanny Crosby, the hymn writer. I envy, even covet, that woman’s gift for metaphor and imagery. I could list stanza after stanza, line after line, of her well-known lyrics as examples of powerful poetic expression, but perhaps my favorite Fanny Crosby stanza comes from the familiar “Blessed Assurance,” where she wrote,
Perfect submission, all is at rest!
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.
That is an interesting stanza to explicate. She’s obviously celebrating the Christian’s perfection and completeness, but not necessarily in the sense of “the end.” The “Watching and waiting, looking above” suggests that she’s not writing about “pie in the sky” just yet, but perhaps our willingness to surrender (i.e., “perfect submission”), to turn over the reins, so to speak, and thus enable the “peace on earth” (“happy and blessed”) that the angels heralded to the shepherds on that first Christmas.
But the most fascinating words in this stanza comes at the ending–“Lost in His love.” Wow. Gollee, Wow!
To be “lost in His love?” I wonder if the meaning of life isn’t somehow wrapped up in this oxymoron, “lost in His love?” Such “lostness” should be a condition the human spirit craves. Our default condition, woefully, is to be lost in love of ourselves.
Yes, Fanny, I believe you have hit upon the truth–as usual!
Gosh, I envy that lady’s talent and admire her craft!
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