Friday, November 27, 2009

Four by G. K. Chesterton

A Grace

You say grace before meals.
All right.
But I say grace before the play and the opera,
And grace before the concert and the pantomime,
And grace before I open a book,
And grace before sketching, painting,
Swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing;
And grace before I dip the pen in the ink.


I thank thee, O Lord, for the stones in the street
I thank thee for the hay-carts yonder and for the houses built and half-built
That fly past me as I stride.
But most of all for the great wind in my nostrils
As if thine own nostrils were close.


Once I looked down at my bootlaces
Who gave me my bootlacees?
The bootmaker? Bah!
Who gave the bootmaker himself?
What did I ever do that I should be given bootlaces?


Here dies another day
During which I have had eyes, ears, hands
And the great world round me;
And with tomorrow begins another.
Why am I allowed two?

* * *

Of all the virtues GKC had -- and he had quite a few, from a talent with words to some excellent common sense -- I think my favorite is his gratitude. He honestly was grateful for everything. For haycarts in the street, and for bootlaces. Every little thing proved to him the loving care of God. In this way, he was like a guest who arrives at a house and carefully notices everything that has been done for him: "Oh, I love the little soaps you put out! Why, there are flowers in my room! A mint is on my pillow! You didn't have to go to all this trouble!"

Why is it that we are thankful for the towel left folded on the foot of our bed when we are staying at someone's house, but we are not thankful for the dew left on the grass in the morning? Both were done because someone was excited to have us here.


Enbrethiliel said...


It was lovely to read Uncle Gilbert's thoughts--and your own line about someone being excited to have us here. We don't usually think of God as excited to have us, but isn't that exactly what He is? =D

日月神教-任我行 said...
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