The sympathy of Jesus.

March 18, 2010

I drove by a recycled bookstore in downtown Campbell today.  Curious, I pulled over and stepped in to look around.  A sign on the door mentioned something about “The Cat Is In” and to please keep the door closed.  A couple minutes later, as I meandered through dark rows of bookshelves, an orange cat sauntered by.  Children’s books, mysteries, old classics.  And a random cat.  Shrug.

Boxes on the floor by the window were marked, “Sale.”  Box after box, filled with Christian writings.  Romans commentaries, books on the Reformation, and other odds and ends.  Thrilled as I was to find these on sale, I couldn’t help but be a little sad that books of such weight were considered of such little value.  I wonder if the bookstore owner knew just how telling his price tags were.  Ideas filling books; price tags telling of their perceived worth.

The orange cat leaped onto a stool by the windowed wall, stretching in the warmth of the late afternoon sun streaming in through the glass.  Smart cat.  I’ll warm up, too. So with my back to the sun (and the now-snoozing cat), I perused through more shelves.  In between two musty books, I found a fairly newer one on hymns.  Reading through some of those old hymns, something more than that fading sun warmed me.

Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin?
The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.

Peace, perfect peace, by thronging duties pressed?
To do the will of Jesus, this is rest.

Peace, perfect peace, with sorrows surging ’round?
On Jesus’ bosom naught but calm is found.

Peace, perfect peace, our future all unknown?
Jesus we know, and He is on the throne.

Peace, perfect peace, ‘mid suffering’s sharpest throes?
The sympathy of Jesus breathes repose.

(Edward H. Bickersteth, Jr., 1875)

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