I stood, a mendicant of God,
Before His royal throne
And begged Him for one priceless gift
For me to call my own.
I took the gift from out His hand,
But as I would depart,
I cried, “But, Lord, this is a thorn,
And it has pierced my heart!
This is a strange and hurtful gift
Which Thou hast given me.”
He said, “I love to give good gifts;
I gave My best to thee.”
I took it home, and though at first
The cruel thorn hurt sore,
As long years passed, I grew at last
To love it more and more.
I learned He never gives a thorn
Without this added grace:
He takes the thorn to pin aside
The veil which hides His face!
Martha Snell Nicholson