The “maglev” high speed train delivered me to the Shanghai airport in eight minutes instead of the hour-long trip by taxi earlier this year. At 268 mph I got where I wanted to go quickly. Problem is, I didn’t have much opportunity to savor any of the details of the journey. I missed a lot of the beauty of the flowers.
One such “flower” today that I don’t want to miss is the last line of a hymn written over 450 years ago by Orlando Gibbons (perhaps I’ve been traveling through life so quickly that I never knew about Mr. Gibbons until last year). For our Maundy Thursday worship service tonight, our choir will sing Drop, Drop Slow Tears, the last line of which goes . . .
In your deep floods drown all my faults and fears;
Nor let his eye see sin, but through my tears.
Look at it closely. He is aware that we tend to minimize the darkness of our sin. We don’t grieve over our sin. We don’t seem to realize how bad sin is, so its presence doesn’t normally bring tears. At the same time, we don’t realize the majesty of Christ’s mercy or the power of His grace. Perhaps, if we did see His glorious sacrifice on the cross more clearly, we could see our fallen nature more as a tragedy. Or, if we could see the darkness of our sin more accurately, we would understand the necessity of the cross. So we don’t see things very well, whether we’re looking up or looking down. I’m reminded this Easter season that my sin is much darker than I know (sadly) and His holiness is far more brilliant than I can imagine (happily). My prayer for me is that I might reflect on my sinfulness with more sadness and on Christ’s provision with more delight. Thanks, Orlando Gibbons, for your line:
Nor let his eye see sin but through my tears.