Break My Stone Heart, O God
('Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.' Psalm 139: 23-24
Search my heart, O Great I AM my Lord God,
. and discern ev'ry corner of my thoughts;
For You know the measure of my goodness
. and the extent of my heart's side that rots.
For my brothers acted gravely 'gainst me
. and has acted to me so unkindly;
They have treated me with much harshness
. and have dealt with me so severely!
So in my heart, I'd been so resentful
. and have longed to exact my vengeance;
In my thoughts, I had held a grudge 'gainst them
. and have craved for expressing my grievance.
But in my heart, O Lord, I've sinned 'gainst You
. and I have grieved Your Spirit so badly;
All my thoughts have been evil before You;
. in Your sight, my cravings are unholy!
For they are still Your sons, O Lord my God
. and these men, O God, are Your anointed,
And by Your blood, they are still justified
. and by Your grace, You still call them blessed.
Let me recall, O Lord, Your sacrifice
. and remind me of Your humility;
That you are the Lord of the heavens
. who humbled Himself to great poverty.
For in that humble act, You have saved me -
. through it, You have granted me forgiveness;
And that sacrifice has lifted You up,
. and has given You high exaltedness!
Forgive me, O Lord, for my grave hatred
. and cleanse me again from my bitterness;
Let me be purified from this deep grudge -
. let me be washed from my hot-headedness!
And teach me, O Father, how to forgive
. that You may forgive my mad overflow;
Teach me, O God, how to be merciful
. so that on this soul, mercy You may show!
Let me be like You, O God my Savior
. that Your lowliness I might imitate;
Teach me to be like You, O Lord Jesus
. that I'll succumb, though they discriminate!
And let me know that You know my works
. and remind that You see my actions;
That You reward me in my secret works,
. that You bless me in my unseen functions!
For sacrifices You never desired
. and good works, in this, You never sought for,
But a broken heart is what You wanted
. and a humbled spirit is Your pleasure.
So break my stone heart, O God, my Lord God,
. that it may become a soil so fertile;
Break my ego, O my Lord Christ Jesus,
. that in humility, I may be still!
Yehoshua Shim'onai's Other Poems
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(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
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