The Master Is Coming
(Playing ~ "The King Is Coming")


".... Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,
ye have done it unto Me."

~ Matthew 25:40b




They said, "The Master is coming
To honor the town today,
And none can tell at what house or home
The Master will choose to stay."
And I thought while my heart beat wildly,
What if He should come to mine,
How would I strive to entertain
And honor the Guest Divine!


And straight I turned to toiling,
To make my home more neat;
I swept, and polished and garnished,
And decked it with blossoms sweet.
I was troubled for fear the Master
Might come ere my work was done
And I hasted and worked the faster,
And watched the hurrying sun.


But right in the midst of my duties
A woman came to my door;
She had come to tell her sorrows
And my comfort and aid to implore,
And I said, "I cannot listen,
Nor help you any, today;
I have greater things to attend to."
And the pleader turned away.


But soon there came another ~
A cripple, thin, pale and gray ~
And said: "Oh, let me stop and rest
A while in your house, I pray !
I have traveled far since morning,
I am hungry and faint and weak;
My heart is full of misery,
And comfort and help I seek."


And I cried, "I am grieved and sorry
But I cannot help you today.
I look for a great and noble Guest,"
And the cripple went away;
And the day wore onward swiftly ~
And my task was nearly done,
And a prayer was ever in my heart
That the Master to me might come.


And I thought I would spring to meet Him,
And serve Him with utmost care,
When a little child stood near me
With a face so sweet and fair ~
Sweet, but with marks of teardrops ~
And his clothes were tattered and old;
A finger was bruised and bleeding,
And his little bare feet were cold.


And I said, "I'm sorry for you ~
You are sorely in need of care;
But I cannot stop to give it,
You must hasten otherwhere."
And at the words, a shadow
Swept o'er his blue-veined brow ~
"Someone will feed and clothe you, dear,
But I am too busy now."


At last the day was ended,
And my toil was over and done;
My house was swept and garnished ~
And I watched in the dark ~ alone.
Watched ~ but no footfall sounded,
No one paused at my gate;
No one entered my cottage door;
I could only pray ~ and wait.


I waited till night had deepened,
And the Master had not come.
"He has entered some other door," I said,
"And gladdened some other home !"
My labor had been for nothing,
And I bowed my head and I wept,
My heart was sore with longing ~
Yet ~ in spite of it all ~ I slept.


Then the Master stood before me,
And His face was grave and fair;
"Three times today I came to your door,
And I craved your pity and care;
Three times you sent me onward,
Unhelped and uncomforted;
And the blessing you might have had was lost,
And your chance to serve has fled."


"O Lord, dear Lord, forgive me !
How could I know it was Thee ?"
My very soul was shamed and bowed
In the depths of humility,
And He said, "The sin is pardoned,
But the blessing is lost to thee;
For, comforting not the least of Mine,
You have failed to comfort Me."


~ Emma A. Lent


(I first found this poem by the title of "The Master Is Coming" in information from the old
Don McNeill radio broadcast of 1948, 'though it was not complete and the author was listed
as "unknown." I later found it in an old anthology in the complete form you see here,
giving credit to the true author and by the title shown here of "Unawares.")


Line dividers by Country Heart Designs


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