Lord, make my heart pure . . .
Gannet Flying Overhead
Photo credit: Cliff’s View Blog
Lord, make my heart
Pure as the gannet’s wing,
That has no part
In aught defiling.
And make my love
Deep as the blue, blue sky,
The small clouds floating by.
* * *
Amy Carmichael, Mountain Breezes: The Collected Poems of Amy Carmichael, p. 180.
© 1999, The Dohnavur Fellowship, published by Christian Literature Crusade.
First published in Wings, Part 1 (no publication date)
Growing up in northern Ireland, Amy Carmichael doubtless saw gannets flying overhead. I’ve never seen one, but imagine majestic flight, clear vision, high velocity, and lightning fast plunges into the sea to catch fish underwater. Definitely not a dainty bird. To learn about them and see more photos, click here.
What catches my imagination in this poem? It’s the possibility of being fully engaged in the one thing I’m created to do. That is, to demonstrate by heart and through deep love the handiwork of our Creator. Not in a small, tentative, barely visible way, but in a pure, undefiled, deeply steadfast, visible and reliable way.
Gannets’ wings and the blue sky with small clouds show up, doing what they were created to do. Day in and day out. No drums, no fanfare, no pomp and circumstance. Just the glory of being reliably present doing what they’re meant to be doing.
This is difficult. Part of me wants much more than this. Then again, perhaps the more will become visible when there’s less.
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 8 January 2015
Special thanks to Cliff”s View Blog for generously loaning one of his outstanding photos. For more of Cliff’s photos of seabirds around Great Saltee Island in Ireland, click here.