I stood before the opening door
arrayed in earthly beauty bright,
fair dazzling sun-glints of the day
and moonlight’s golden silk of night.
My bridegroom would be coming soon
to take me in His waiting arms.
I smiled to think of His delight.
He would be thrilled by my sweet charms.
The door quite slowly opened then,
as if all by itself it moved.
I caught my breath—the very thought—
the time had come, His time to choose.
Would He approve this waiting bride?
I almost snickered at the thought
for here I stood in dress and veil,
the finest earthly treasures bought.
No finer bride could ever be.
No finer gifts than what I bring.
No finer heart could surely see
the face of my Bridegroom and King.
Then suddenly I saw the Light,
a Light like none I’d seen before,
and in the radiance glowing there
I knew it was my Groom and Lord.
I proudly bowed to meet Him there.
The glowing rested from His face.
No words, as just a step He took.
I waited for His first embrace.
I saw His eyes. Could this be true?
No glimmer or no happy gleam?
No giddy love light sparkling there?
Could this be sadly what it seems?
I clutched my dress and felt the rags.
My lovely hair? A matted mess.
In his dear mirrored eyes I saw
reflected there a bride grotesque.
“How can this be?” I gasped and cried,
“Where is the beauty I have owned?”
“That beauty only was of earth,”
the Bridegroom said in saddened tones.
I tried to hide my face from His.
My pompous pride turned into dust.
I touched the pendant cross I wore,
and in my hand it turned to rust.
He spoke to questions of my heart.
“All earthly treasures will not last
that you have gained apart from me
when through these heavenly doors you pass.”
Then glorious singing swelled and rose,
and I became aware of crowns
that others cast about His feet
but I had nothing to lay down.
In rags I stood in that great throng.
My earthly choices had been vain.
He ransomed me to be His own,
but I had forged a crown of shame.
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