LOVE bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack'd anything.
"A guest," I answer'd, "worthy to be here:"
Love said, "You shall be he."
"I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
I cannot look on Thee."
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
"Who made the eyes but I?"
"Truth, Lord; but I have marr'd them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve."
"And know you not," says Love, "Who bore the blame?"
"My dear, then I will serve."
"You must sit down," says Love, "and taste my meat."
So I did sit and eat.
George Herbert. 1593–1632
I had to read this poem multiple times out loud to find the right cadence and voice, but once I did its meaning hit me, and I was utterly amazed at the truth of it. George is referring to God in this poem, and how unworthy we humans find ourselves feeling of His love and devotion to us.
Such was His love and devotion that He always wants to spend time with us, and such was His devotion that he took ALL our sin and shame on Himself so that we would be washed clean and be able to rest in His presence for all eternity. He made us out of love, took our sin from us out of love, and pursues us even when we stray- all out of love. And what is God? LOVE.
With that in mind, read it again.