On Growth

And so all growth that is not toward God

Is growing to decay. All increase gained

Is but an ugly, earthy, fungous growth.

’Tis aspiration as that wick aspires,

Towering above the light it overcomes,

But ever sinking with the dying flame.

O let me live, if but a daisy’s life!

– George MacDonald, Within and Without


What is Love

Love is the best thing: the Love of God is the highest thing; we cannot be right until we love God, therefore we cannot do right—I mean thoroughly right—until we love God. But God knows this better than we do, and he is always teaching us to love him. He wants us to love him, not because he loves himself, but because it is the only wise, good and joyous thing for us to love him who made us and is most lovely….So you need not be troubled about it darling Elfie. All you have to do & that is plenty is to go on doing what you know to be right, to keep your heart turned to God for him to lead you, & to read & try to understand the story of Jesus. A thousand other things will come in from God to help you if you do thus.

I am very very glad you asked me my child. Ask me anything you like, and I will try to answer you—if I know the answer. For this is one of the most important things I have to do in the world.

— George MacDonald, from a letter to his daughter

What Have You Done This Day?

“What have you done this day because it was the will of Christ? Have you dismissed, once dismissed, an anxious thought for the morrow? Have you ministered to any needy soul or body, and kept your right hand from knowing what your left hand did? Have you begun to leave all and follow him? Did you set yourself to judge righteous judgment? Are you being ware of covetousness? Have you forgiven your enemy? Are you seeking the kingdom of God and his righteousness before all other things? Are you hungering and thirsting after righteousness? Have you given to some one that asked of you? Tell me something that you have done, are doing, or are trying to do because he told you. If you do nothing that he says, it is no wonder that you cannot trust in him…”

— George MacDonald

A Life Lost From its Father-Life!

“My soul leans toward him; stretches forth its arms,

  And waits expectant. Speak to me, my God;

  And let me know the living Father cares

  For me, even me; for this one of his children. —

  Hast thou no word for me? I am thy thought.

  God, let thy mighty heart beat into mine,

  And let mine answer as a pulse to thine.

  See, I am low; yea, very low; but thou

  Art high, and thou canst lift me up to thee.

  I am a child, a fool before thee, God;

  But thou hast made my weakness as my strength.

  I am an emptiness for thee to fill;

  My soul, a cavern for thy sea. I lie

  Diffused, abandoning myself to thee….

 — I will look up, if life should fail in looking.

  Ah me! A stream cut from my parent-spring!

  Ah me! A life lost from its father-life!”

— George MacDonald, Within and Without

Lead Me to Him

“My friend, if one should tell a homeless boy,

  ”There is your father’s house: go in and rest;”

  Through every open room the child would pass,

  Timidly looking for the friendly eye;

  Fearing to touch, scarce daring even to wonder

  At what he saw, until he found his sire;

  But gathered to his bosom, straight he is

  The heir of all; he knows it ‘mid his tears.

  And so with me: not having seen Him yet,

  The light rests on me with a heaviness;

  All beauty wears to me a doubtful look;

  A voice is in the wind I do not know;

  A meaning on the face of the high hills

  Whose utterance I cannot comprehend.

  A something is behind them: that is God.

  These are his words, I doubt not, language strange;

  These are the expressions of his shining thoughts;

  And he is present, but I find him not.

  I have not yet been held close to his heart.

  Once in his inner room, and by his eyes

  Acknowledged, I shall find my home in these,

  ’Mid sights familiar as a mother’s smiles,

  And sounds that never lose love’s mystery.

  Then they will comfort me. Lead me to Him.”

— George MacDonald