Saturday, December 19, 2009

spiritual deployability

At the most painful meeting of my adult life I first heard of a person being spiritually undeployable. Myself. I sat numbly as my defects were enumerated and the conclusion reached. What followed was three months of tumult, listening to the opinions and evaluations of others and listening to God. My thoughts on this issue stem from much meditation and thought on the concept of spiritual deployment.

What is spiritual deployability? Who qualifies? Obviously many leaders in Christendom consider themselves qualified to make this judgment. Church and mission leaders, parachurch organizational leaders, anyone with a vestige of spiritual authority has the insight to divine another’s value in a spiritual ministry context. It looks right and it sounds right. There is a grain of sand in the shoe, but one is able to ignore it for a while, thinking, “well, it’s only my own fallen nature.” As long as we don’t find ourselves undeployable, we accept it as a valid concept.

But is it? What is it? And who is qualified?

The army uses “deployable” to describe the state of fitness for a soldier to be useful in whatever capacity he serves to wherever he needs to be sent. Deployment is moving troops into action. Being undeployable involves some disqualification, physically, mentally, or emotionally, which prevents a soldier from being worthy or capable of serving.

To be deployable, therefore, is the deep, unspoken desire of everyone in God’s hands and family. We want to be used. We long to be useful--part of the solution, not the problem. Being undeployable makes us the problem. Rich Mullins sang, “We must be awfully small and not as strong as we think we are.” He had an awareness of his own undeployability and tried to sing to us that we are not as deployable as we think we are.

“His winnowing fork is in His hand, to clear His threshing floor and to gather the wheat into His barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.” Luke 3:17.

When Luke describes Jesus as the fast and furious thresher with his winnowing fork in hand, our focus is on the wheat and chaff: the saved and not, the chosen and not, the good and not. He thrusts His fork under the beaten stalks, the wind blows away the fluffy non-grain. The wheat falls down to be kept, ground into flour and made into bread.

We are the stalks, we are wheat and chaff. In our entirety, we are not ready, acceptable, useful to be ground into flour and turned into bread. We have chaff in our lives. Stuff that our culture cries out is so very important to us: our identity, our dreams, our images of ourselves, our habits, our possessions, and much, much more.

Some of it we know is not profitable. We have habits we want to break, other habits we’d like to develop that will make us more profitable. We have so much to offer, so much we want to bring to show our gratitude.

It’s chaff. All of it. Who I am. What I dream. Where I serve. What I have and what I give. Everything. Even my deployability. Just chaff. Empty fluff. No seed, no food, no bread coming from that. Piles and piles of non-wheat. The Thresher has to come and thresh the stalks to separate the wheat and chaff, the edible from inedible.

As I have wrestled, I’ve discovered that spiritual deployability is an illusion: the concept that we bring value and credit to what we do; that what we do makes us worthy, or how we are makes us profitable. It sounds good, but it is a subtle lie that points us to the ladder of works.

The pure in heart shall see God. Not the deployable, the impressive, the ones with a great track record or piles of quantifiable “fruit.” The pure in heart.
Paul says in Philippians, “Let your gentleness be known . . .”
These are not items to be ticked off in a “spiritual deployment” viability list.

Look at our larger-than-life but tremendously flawed Bible heros from Abraham through David and beyond: take an honest look, and take heart. It isn’t about us, after all. God is working in us, as undeployable and as poor risks as we are. When God is at work, the least deployable may end up most useful.

“If I stand, let me stand on the promise that You will pull me through.
And if I can’t, let me fall on the grace that first brought me to You.” (Rich Mullins)

Monday, October 19, 2009

the two sons

Taking time to stop and meditate on who I am, what I am about and where my values lie is a precious experience for me. Usually I am busy with lots of "to do" kinds of things and don't prioritize. (I need an hour to be quiet and think.)

Just finished a book, The Cross & the Prodigal. (Yes, the "and" sign is written like that, I don't take liberties with titles.) It's about the parable of the prodigal son. Only Kenneth Bailey makes the point that it is really about both sons. In our western perspective, the prodigal gets the limelight and the elder brother is kind of off stage. We skew the entire point of the story when we concentrate on the bad boy who realizes he's bad and comes home and is reconciled. It is very neat and tidy. It suits our ideas of mercy and grace. Of course, the part tacked on the end about the elder brother is disquieting. But we can ignore that part if we want to. After all, he's not the main point of the story. And his end is inconclusive. Does he go in to the party or does he stay outside and pout? We will never know.

Our society likes to tie the ends. Our entertainers only leave loose ends when there is going to be a sequel. But there isn't a sequel to "The Prodigal Son." There isn't a "The Elder Brother" to wrap it up.

In thinking on this, I suspect Jesus didn't "finish" the story because for many of us, it is about ourselves. In some ways, we are the elder brother. What Jesus was trying to tell us, and we miss the point because our point of view gets in the way, is that both brothers have broken their relationship with their Father. One by breaking the law and the other by keeping the law. The younger broke the law by willfully implementing his own agenda. The elder kept the law as an idol in the place of his relationship with his Father. By technically following all the requests and rules, he could live for himself, and pride himself in his own goodness.

Obviously we see where this is going. The pharisees were a bunch of older brothers. But I have fallen into that trap from time to time. What a scary thing.

We can never mend our own relationship with our Father: He does all the mending. But we have to be willing to be mended, know that we are broken. It is probably easier for prodigals to remember that. They have the "years of vanity and pride" to be remorseful about. But vanity and pride sneak in everywhere.

Monday, September 21, 2009

being safe and secure

Jesus, Savior, pilot me over life's tempestuous sea.

I remember singing that on furloughs when I was young. I loved the strong imagery and the music. Just the idea of being out at sea with tons of blue-wet music bashing the hull, thunder and lightening adding to the danger, caught my imagination. I wanted to risk everything for Jesus. I wanted to cross onto the wild side and pay the ultimate price.

Elisabeth Elliot's missionary remark makes me laugh, but inside I'm nodding: "Missionaries don't go, they go forth. Missionaries don't walk, they tread the burning sands. Missionaries don't die, they lay down their lives." That's right, I think: I want to go forth and tread those sands and lay down my life. Many of my heroes did that. I want to be like them.

But missions are changing, and it makes me sad. Missions are worried about the cost of service on the servants. They want to look out for the health and welfare of the missionaries: keep them safe. Why? Isn't their Heavenly Father capable?

It's called member care. It sounds very good. It sounds reasonable. Sensible. Safe. Our society is definitely into security. You find it in airports all the way to how complicated it is to open an aspirin bottle or packaged food item. We have safety belts and safety nets for everyone. We have vaccines and pills for almost any eventuality. I cannot drive anywhere without being reminded that flu shots are available now, 24 hours. Fear seems to be the overriding factor. Fear for safety.

I didn't grow up thinking like that and it feels strange. When my mission changes policy and protocol "to provide better member care" I wonder if that isn't what the Body is supposed to be doing. As I feel the bombardment of precautionary measures in every area: food, health, traffic, education, even recreation, I feel alien.

My safety has been catapulted way out of proportion to my call. We have brothers and sisters imprisoned, tortured, dying of starvation, infected by appalling conditions . . . how can I listen to my society's mantra of security? What makes me think it is more important than serving my spiritual family who happen to live on another continent?

After looking, I don't find any promises for security from the Lord. The closest one to "secure" is "Lo, I am with you always." That one does it for me. But there is nothing about health, education, housing, food, no guarantees. In fact, I find promises that sound more like: "In this world you will have trouble, but take heart. I have overcome the world."

Unknown waves before me roll, hiding rock and treacherous shoal . . .

Now I struggle with trying to extricate myself from the security net so I can hear His voice and follow Him.

Monday, August 17, 2009

a western sojourn

Today we begin a long journey into the setting sun. We will visit many friends, see new places, and hopefully be renewed in our minds.

We are three on this trip. Luke, our token extrovert, is at university. For him, it is the utter east, his heart's desire. Yesterday Phil and I drove him to Indiana Wesleyan and started a new chapter in his life. My heart is full of thanksgiving for him and his desire to serve the LORD with all his heart.

Now, as we face the other direction, and figuratively still other directions in ministry, my heart is still full. Of praise. Alleluia.

I am so excited to see God at work in the lives of our friends--and be assured that He works in ours.

Yesterday this verse of a hymn struck me as a good balance of sober and joyful outlook:

And did not Jesus sing a psalm that night,
when utmost evil strove against the right?
Then let us sing, for whom He won the fight--

The peace of the Lord be with you.

Monday, July 20, 2009

we need more hymns like this

may Thy house be mine abode
and all my work be praise.

There would I find a settled rest, while others go and come,
no more a stranger or a guest, but like a child at home.

When we sang those words yesterday, they washed me with peace and comfort.
Turmoil is part of this world (to which we cling with unconsidered urgency).
God is not a God of turmoil, but He works in it very well. He has brought friends my way to remind me of Himself and His care. I know I am not especially deserving, and others of His children suffer more with less padding around them.
Teach me how to be padding for someone else, even while I am here in this place.
If I am settled where You put me, I am readier to serve the guests who come my way.

Friday, July 17, 2009

His Voice in Chaos

Last Monday we sat down for a long-awaited meeting with our team leader, area leader and member care guy. All wonderful men. Phil and I thought we were discussing our future, hearing their concerns, they hearing ours and seeking a mutually agreeable conclusion.

It came as a shock, then, when about half way through, Mr Member Care observed that our leaders had made a decision and we thought we were discussing options. The decision had been made in February. We had not realized that because of words like "recommend" and "suggest." The reality came home very hard and for me the room began to reel.

It is the first time in my adult life where someone else has made a decision for me which profoundly affected my future in which I have not had a single word. This was hurtful. The consequences of the decision are far-reaching and painful. I have a new respect for the military: they go wherever they are told to go. I have a new understanding of servanthood: they do what they are told to do.

I've used the battle metaphor for our work in Mozambique, but I've been a volunteer. I've used the servant metaphor, but I've been serving those who "need" me and usually in my capacity and on my terms. Now I need to think of myself as a servant of our team leaders.

My life is not going to ever look the same again. We are being relocated from Quelimane. My email address will mock me: Karen in Where? Not Q, not any more.

As I struggle with hurt, disappointment, frustration and anger; going through all the "if onlys" and "what abouts" I feel the sucking vortex of self-pity. Lord, keep us all from that one.

Know what came to me today? Those Israelites in the wilderness. For healing all they had to do was look up. That's all they had to do, for heaven's sake. Look up at the snake. Look up, instant healing. Well, my healing won't be instant: I'm not a snake bite victim. But I will heal if I look up. His voice came to me in the chaos and said "look up." Don't be pulled into the pros and cons and arguments. Don't let bitterness and unforgiveness have a foothold.

Lord, keep talking, I want Your voice to be the One that comes in clearly in the Chaos.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

life changes (that's a verb)

This day be within and without me, lowly and meek yet all powerful.

Those words are part of our regular family devotions, nestled right in the middle of our centering prayer: to remind us that Christ is our Light and Shield.

I have wanted to think and respond to our trip East. My first remarks about Detroit were a start. Then the trip took on a life of its own and I was in the passenger seat--living it and loving it.

Now we are back. I will reminisce. But not now. I am in the middle of a difficult learning curve. I am watching my mother as she halts and races towards her finish line. She is desperately unhappy. She wants to be home. She asks why she is still here, what good she is. Her body is betraying her, but not so as to let her go.

It is difficult to watch someone suffer, especially when you can do nothing to help. As Dad lay in his hospital bed, they administered morphine when the pain was great. There is no morphine for Mom. She totters. Her speech garbles. She gets frustrated and hits her head. Her ears are her greatest enemy: she cannot hear the ones she loves. She cannot carry on a conversation over dinner. The dining room is her personal inferno. Every meal is dreaded.

She is not suffering from dementia. She is aware, but cannot do what she used to do. My poor, dear, sweet Mom. Loneliness is the worst of all. Each time I leave her apartment, her face is crestfallen. She says, "What am I going to do?"

Our medical system has taken some of the easier ways to die and left her with something slower, draining, defeating.

I have thought much about it. Here I won't pontificate. But I am learning from the immense feeling of helplessness of watching someone fade ever so slowly: here is something I can't fix, someone I can't help. Being a mom has given me a false sense of competence. There are so many ways I can "fix" what is broken when my kids are small. But the end is not the same as the beginning, no matter the similarities we find.

The end is so very unknown. We cannot use our life savvy for this. That is why I need someOne in me who is lowly and meek, yet all powerful. Someone who is also on the other side. Someone who knows it all.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

a night in Detroit

We have been lifted up by the amazing affirmation that only being in God's family brings. Our visit to Sam and Luz Jackson in Detroit was nothing short of incredible. We met three of their precious daughters: Maris, Joana, and Victoria. (Their first daughter lives not far from us in IL, believe it.)

We were literally embraced the moment we reunited and felt the love of Jesus all evening long. We were fed--we were heard. We listened to exciting stories of their church plant in Detroit. What fun it was to share our "intercultural" stories. Sam's church is tri-cultural, with everyone else welcome. Hope we can see the whole church next visit.

Am thinking about what it means to serve God. Seems there are two types of service: a special assignment or ongoing obedience. These thoughts are fundamental to what it means to discern His will.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

traveling again

Took a blog-break when we arrived in the States. A month in Texas, now a month in Illinois, with visits to various states in between. Now it is May and tomorrow we are heading for a trip to the East coast: New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio, and Indiana.

It has been a good return home. "Home" is one of my favorite words. And yes, though I have spent precious little of my life in the States, it is home--my passport will attest. Listening to many friends who live here all the time, I learn some of the shortfalls of this magnificent country. I've noticed a couple myself.

But right now the things that stand out are the contrasts from rural Africa. Here are some of the things I like about America:
~ nice smooth roads with lots of lanes
~ street name signs
~ plenty of gas stations with coffee and travel mugs
~ mile after mile of neat, tidy, litterless stretches
~ helpful, friendly policemen
~ polite drivers on the American roads
~ eating m&m's when the mood strikes (as long as it doesn't strike too often)
~ very fast internet
~ church
~ church choirs, church organs, church pianos, church cellos, OK, church music
~ coffee and goodies while you're talking to friends at church
~ having coffee or tea with a friend in an atmospheric little place
~ Borders books and Barnes and Nobles and Half Price books
~ seeing my Mom nearly every day
~ doctors who listen and nurses who are considerate (we had our medicals)
~ people who walk their dogs in the morning and evening
~ communion at church
~ plays: we have seen "Juliet" and "Confessions of St Augustine" (both gratis)
~ the Metra into Chicago
~ Dallas Arboretum and Morton Arboretum
~ beautifully landscaped yards, not surrounded by cement walls

Perhaps I should save the next 90 for another time, but you get the idea: it is so good to be back.
We look forward to seeing as many friends as possible on the continent.
I'll be adding insights and adventures from time to time.

We have so much to be thankful for, not the least of which is our incomparable country.
Amen? Amen.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

heading back home

It has been a busy month. Packing, jettisoning, organizing, saying good bye.

Now we are "on the road". We left last Monday and drove for two days. Here in Maputo we wait for the second leg of our trip. Once again, guests of Restrick's incomparable hospitality, we enjoy their home, peace and quiet, and the chance to regroup. On Tuesday Dave and Rhoda will drive us through Swaziland and all the way to Joburg where we will catch our flight through Senegal and DC and finally arrive in Texas on Wednesday. How does that work?

When I think how long it took us to fly or float to and from Korea when I was growing up, this seems phenomenal.

This ten month home assignment is going to be one of change. We leave 18 years of work not knowing where God wants us in the future. Are we to be redeployed to Quelimane? or head somewhere else? When we started we didn't know. We still don't. When we think we do, that is when we should be wondering.

I am so grateful that God is in control and as long as we seek His face, we can be sure that we won't head in the wrong direction. His will is a mystery. I just want to be right smack in the middle of it.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Zambezia witch hunting

We can’t say that we’re having a drought here in eastern Zambezia, after all, we have had some rain. But it hasn’t been enough to keep the seedlings alive. When it comes, it spatters and leaves.

In the developed world there are many theories about such freakish weather, not the least of which might be global warming, that scapegoat catch-all. But Africa is different. When things go wrong in Nature, people start looking around for who is responsible.

Yesterday as the rain clouds threatened, and thunder rolled, I waited in the heat for the release of cloud buckets and the smell of wet earth. Instead, the weather toyed with our expectations, promised, and withdrew. Disappointment. At least I hadn’t gone out and transplanted seedling flowers like Jacky had.

You know, I was nearly tempted to complain to the Lord; He is in charge of the weather, after all. But I found out why it didn’t rain later in the afternoon. An outlying village, also hard hit by the dryness, went on a witch hunt and decided that a widow with an elderly mother was responsible for the drought. So they caught her and beat her “to a pulp” were the words used to me. Two timid police on a motorcycle came and reluctantly took her away for her own safety. The crowd turned on her mother. Their house was destroyed and belongings smashed.

I don’t know how either woman is doing. My heart goes out to them. How sad to live where you can pay the price for something all reason would tell you was out of your small control. Why did they pick on her, I wanted to know. Apparently, as a widow she is supposed to accommodate whatever man in leadership wants accommodating. But since she would not hand out sexual favors to the leaders, she was the scapegoat for the community.

I just talked with a well-educated Mozambican friend who has confirmed this story and added that there have been a variety of incidents like this: some scapegoats have not had police assistance and have died at the mob’s hands. Makes me wonder: what type of mind would think that a person who could control or influence the weather would still be weak enough to be victim of a hostile rabble?

There are well-meaning non-government organizations who disparage mission work because it interferes with the local belief system and challenges the culture. “The people are perfectly happy in their own milieu,” they insist. Ask the scapegoats, I want to say.

Anyway, now I know why it didn’t rain yesterday. And today clouds promised and wimped out, too. And hot as I am, I’m glad.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


One of my life goals is simplicity.

And George Herbert did it again in my QT: this poem just stood out (the last quatrain of "The Wreath.")

Give me simplicity, that I may live,
So live and like, that I may know Thy ways,
Know them and practise them: then shall I give
For this poor wreath, give Thee a crown of praise.

He just gets right to the heart of life. The poem starts off declaring that he wants to offer a wreath of praise to the Lord, and as he ponders the crooked windings of his life, he realizes that the detours are more like death and life should be a straight bee-line to the Lord. Simple, direct, no deceit. And he finishes with knowing and practising "Thy ways"--and the wreath becomes a crown.

Makes me realize how much more I have to learn about this complicated process of living. Simplicity still seems the avenue of choice.

Monday, January 19, 2009

the end of the trip

Well, it was a longer break than I expected, but here I am.

After five conference days of more food than we needed at each meal and many opportunities to reconnect with friends one-on-one, it was Saturday morning and time to retrace our trip back north.

The South African border was a breeze this time: leaving is much easier than getting in. The border official told us to "have a nice flight." The atmosphere changed radically on the Zim side of the border: the lines were listless. Many desks were empty and we were shuffled from line to line, regardless of the sign above the person's head. Once through we hit the road and we were stopped at even more police checks going north than we had been coming south. We didn't count, but I would guess around 20 police road blocks, just to check our vehicle import permit, driver's license, etc. They can get picky enough to match your engine numbers with the ones on you car papers, but we weren't subjected to such scrutiny. Why? They are hungry and they want something: nearly all asked what we had brought them from SA.

We spent the night near the border with friends, Les and Doreen, who willingly open their home to traveling missionaries. They were a blessing and their pool was refreshing after a hot day in the car.

Sunday we started home after daybreak. No trouble through the borders, no trouble in fact, until about 150 km from home: then we hit the MotherLode potholes. There were lots of potholes that day and we missed all but two of them. But those two in quick succession blew out our two right tires. See the photo in the post below. Fortunately we were within cell phone coverage (most of that road isn't)l and we called for help. Good friend Brian came out with son Philip and our son Luke with a second spare tire. Phil had already changed the first. Then continuing on home, another pothole did in a third tire. So began the long and tiresome attempt to find a place to fix one of the flat ones: all 3 rims were bent, however, We ended up going back to Q, getting another spare from our friend who lent the first one, and hauling it back out again.

I stayed in town with Bell and enjoyed dinner at Hilton's house while the guys went back out on their errand of mercy. Friends are indispensable in Africa--something Africans have known for a very long time. As I mentioned, the guys finally got home around midnight. It was strange, being within an hour and a half of home (at 3:30 p.m.) and then not getting home until late.

We were blessed to have cell phone coverage, friends willing to drive literally hundreds of kilometers, a neighbor who lent his car's tires, and plenty of water to drink on that hot and dusty road.

Much to be thankful for. Much indeed. And now we thank Him for rain because this land has been parched while we were gone. The little rice seedlings in our garden withered and dried up. We hope this is not reflective of the whole province. But the rain is blissful. Amen.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

return through Zimbabwe

Sunday around midnight, after the weekend in the car, the last members of the family finally arrived home. Let me back up and tell you how we made it.

On the 4th we started the two day trip to South Africa through Zimbabwe, once the bread basket of southern Africa. Sounds like a painfully trite expression, but it is true. Seeing the current situation in Zim first-hand was painful. We used to go there to stock up on goodies we couldn't buy in Mozambique. One journalist described hundreds of dead donkeys (roadkill of the semi trucks shipping goods through to countries north of Zim), we only encountered three--and one cow. She also mentioned people begging along the roadside, we saw none. She warned of cholera victims with their IVs at the border crossing. We missed the melodrama. But Zimbabwe is on her knees nonetheless. Anything we wanted to purchase including the many taxes we pay at the border: (visa $45 per person, road tax $10, carbon tax $21. bridge tax $20, gov't "insurance" $30) all had to be paid in US dollars or SA rands. Zimbabwean money has no value and most shops will not accept them.

It was heart-breaking to see the normally jolly, extroverted Zimbabweans listless and exhausted from the toll of their brutal dictator. Believe me, the relief of entering into South Africa was palpable. Also noticeable was that we were charged no taxes and other trumped up fees to support a gov't in free fall. But we did wait several hours in the noonday sun (and have the burns to prove it) in the lengthy line of people eager to leave Zim behind. The line meandered out the immigration door, around the courtyard, through another leg of the building and out into the parking lot where we began the vigil.

Late Monday afternoon we arrived at where we would enjoy the four days of conference: a resort with warm baths. Aahh. But better than the pools was the fellowship with our Zimbabwean missionary friends who have been through many crises this past year.

More later. Must post this and get going on lunch. (Had an interruption I wasn't expecting.)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

a trip through Zimbabwe

Tomorrow we travel to our annual conference with our colleagues from Zimbabwe. Since the situation there is so dire, the conference will be held in South Africa. The oddities of African geography mean that the fastest way for us to get there is to drive into the eastern border of Zim, through the heart, and out the south. In normal times, this would be a piece of cake, and we would congratulate ourselves on avoiding impassable Mozambican roads.

The times are not normal. The infrastructure is crashing down in Zim, cholera is spreading, and desperate starving people are everywhere. This we get from the news on the internet. My heart is in my feet as I anticipate this trip. Check out personal accounts of the border crossing at Beitbridge for an idea of what is ahead.

It will be a two-day trip for us (one way) and we will be carrying our own drinking water and fuel to get through the country. I know the poverty is going to devastate me. (Isabel and I have taken measures to try and share Gods love--we'll tell you if it works.)

Please pray that we will not be fearful or unmindful of our blessings. We return, Lord willing, on the 12th. I look forward to sharing what I have seen and heard with you.

What a good time to rejoice in all we have to be thankful for.

Friday, January 2, 2009

here they say Boas Entradas

And I think it sounds like good entrances, but they mean Happy New Year. I wanted to post on new years, but our internet was down and only returned a few moments ago. So here is what I planned to write:

Rather than ramble or open another third world window on this new year’s day, I’d like to share a poem by George Herbert that Bell showed me this morning. What a fantastic prayer for 2009.
~(If you don’t have time to read it entirely, the first and final stanzas can stand alone and say it rather well.)

Thou that hast giv’n so much to me,
Give one thing more, a grateful heart.
See how Thy beggar works on Thee
By art.

He makes Thy gifts occasion more,
And says, If he in this be crost,
All Thou has giv’n him heretofore
Is lost.

But Thou didst reckon, when at first
Thy word our hearts and hands did crave,
What it would come to at the worst
To save.

Perpetual knockings at Thy door,
Tears sullying Thy transparent rooms,
Gift upon gift, much would have more.
And comes.

This notwithstanding, Thou wentst on,
And didst allow us all our noise:
Nay Thou hast made a sigh and groan
Thy joys.

Not that Thou hast not still above
Much better tunes, than groans can make;
But that these country-airs Thy love
Didst take.

Wherefore I cry, and cry again;
And in no quiet canst Thou be,
Till I a thankful heart obtain
Of Thee:

Not thankful, when it pleaseth me;
As if Thy blessings had spare days:
But such a heart, whose pulse may be
Thy praise.