In the distant land of famine,
Craving with the swine to feed;
Oh, how bitter that awakening
To my sin, and shame, and need!
Dark and dreary all around me,
Now no more by sin beguiled;
I would go and seek my Father,
Be a bondsman, not a child.
Yet a great way off He saw me,
Ran to kiss me as I came;
As I was my Father loved me,
Loved me in my sin and shame.
Then in bitter grief I told Him
Of the evil I had done --
Sinned in scorn of Him, my Father,
Was not meet to be His son.
But I know not if He listened,
For He spake not of my sin --
He within His house would have me,
Make me meet to enter in;
From the riches of His glory
Brought His costliest raiment forth,
Brought the ring that sealed His purpose,
Shoes to tread His golden courts.
Put them on me -- robes of glory,
Spotless as the heavens above;
Not to meet my thoughts of fitness,
But His wondrous thoughts of love.
Then within His home He led me,
Brought me where the feast was spread,
Made me eat with Him, my Father,
I, who begged for bondsman's bread!
Not a suppliant at His gateway,
But a son within His home;
To the love, the joy, the singing,
To the glory I am come.
Gathered round that wondrous temple,
Filled with awe His Angels see
Glory lighting up the Holiest,
In that glory Him and me.
There He dwells, in me rejoicing
Love resplendent in His Face --
There I dwell, in Him rejoicing,
None but I can know His grace.
To His blessed inner chamber,
Ground no other foot can tread,
He has brought the lost and found one,
Him who liveth, and was dead.
This the ransomed sinner's story,
All the Father's heart made known --
All His grace to me the sinner,
Told by judgment on His Son --
Told by Him from depths of anguish,
All the Father's love for me,
By the curse, the cross, the darkness,
Measuring what that love must be.