Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
and come away.
I hear the voice of my Beloved! He speaks to me! Fair weather is smiling upon the face of the earth, and He does not want me to be spiritually asleep while nature is all around me awaking from her winter’s rest. He bids me “Arise,” as well He might, for I have been lying long enough among the weeds of worldliness. He is risen, and I am risen in Him; so why should I still cleave to the dust? From lower loves, desires, pursuits, and aspirations, I want to rise to Him.
He calls me by the sweet title “my love” and counts me “beautiful”; this is a good argument for my rising. If He has exalted me and thinks me fair, how can I linger in the tents of wickedness and make my friends in the wrong company? He bids me “Come away”; further and further from everything selfish, groveling, worldly, sinful, He calls me; yes, from the outwardly religious world that doesn’t know Him and has no sympathy with the mystery of godliness. “Come away” has no harsh sound to my ear, and what is there to hold me in this wilderness of vanity and sin?
My Lord, I want desperately to come away, but I am held among the thorns and cannot escape from them as I wish. I would, if it were possible, close my eyes and ears and heart to sin. You call me to Yourself by saying, “Come away,” and this is indeed a melodious call. To come to You is to come home from exile, to reach the shore out of the raging storm, to finally rest after hard labor, to reach the goal of my desires and the summit of my wishes.
But, Lord, how can a stone rise; how can a lump of clay come away from the horrible pit? Please raise me; draw me by Your grace. Send Your Holy Spirit to kindle sacred flames of love in my heart, and I will continue to rise until one day I will leave life and time behind me and come away indeed.
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