A Gentler Cross?

Is there no gentler cross for me,

Upon which I should die,

Whose planks are planed and sanded down,

And stained to match my eyes?

Is there no gentler slope for me,

Upward which I may trod,

Whose path lies uniformly paved,

Where shade trees line the road?

Is there no lighter beam for me,

To carry toward that hill?

Must duty obligate me down?

Must mission bind my will?

Is there no softer spear for me,

To thrust into my side?

I would that just a scratch sufficed

That cut not hair nor hide.

Are there no smaller nails for me,

To pierce my hands and feet?

Or kinder crown or calmer crowd

Where parting would be sweet?

Help me escape self pity’s own

Exasperated cry.

Hold me fast in Your love’s grip

That I may learn to die.

And in my self-help’s emptied cry

That feels its strength all gone,

I learn to lean upon You, Lord,

And in Your grace be strong.

The task for which You call us forth

Requires the strength You give.

You lead us out beyond ourselves

So we may learn to live.

And in our own frustrating days

During our own hard hour,

Dying to self we learn to live

In resurrection power.

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