Ella Wheeler Wilcox

(5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)

If Christ Came Questioning - Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

If Christ came questioning His world to-day,
(If Christ came questioning,)
'What hast thou done to glorify thy God,
Since last My feet this lower earth plane trod?'
How could I answer Him; and in what way
One evidence of my allegiance bring;
If Christ came questioning.

If Christ came questioning, to me alone,
(If Christ came questioning,)
I could not point to any church or shrine
And say, 'I helped build up this house of Thine;
Behold the altar, and the corner stone';
I could not show one proof of such a thing;
If Christ came questioning.

If Christ came questioning, on His demand,
(If Christ came questioning,)
No pagan soul converted to His creed
Could I proclaim; or say, that word or deed
Of mine, had spread the faith in any land;
Or sent it forth, to fly on stronger wing;
If Christ came questioning.

If Christ came questioning the soul of me,
(If Christ came questioning,)
I could but answer, 'Lord, my little part
Has been to beat the metal of my heart,
Into the shape I thought most fit for Thee;
And at Thy feet, to cast the offering;
Shouldst Thou come questioning.

'From out the earth-fed furnaces of desire,
(Ere Thou cam'st questioning,)
This formless and unfinished gift I brought,
And on life's anvil flung it down, white hot:
A glowing thing, of selfishness and fire,
With blow on blow, I made the anvil ring;
(Ere Thou cam'st questioning).

'The hammer, Self-Control, beat hard on it;
(Ere Thou cam'st questioning,)
And with each blow, rose fiery sparks of pain;
I bear their scars, on body, soul, and brain.
Long, long I toiled; and yet, dear Lord, unfit,
And all unworthy, is the heart I bring,
To meet Thy questioning.'

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 2, 2010

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