Today is the feast of Saint Luke.
Unknown artist: Saint Luke writing an icon of the Virgin and Child – Russian, 16th century
St Luke the Evangelist
Who feels not thoughts within him rise
At some beloved physician’s name,
Which fill with brimming tears his eyes
And waken memory’s warmest claim?
Haply a parent or a child
Owes to his skill their power to bless;
And home’s sweet Eden since has smiled,
Which else had been a wilderness.
Or if the message came, “The Lord
Surely hath need of him or her,”
Who has not known the balsam pour’d
In deep wounds by His minister.
In tenderest hours of life or death
That healing friend is by our side,
Perhaps the last to catch our breath,
Or gently whisper, “Jesus died.”
O Healer of our spirit needs,
Who knowest every tear that starts,
And every inward wound that bleeds
Down in the deeps of human hearts,
We tell Thee all; we may, we must:
We cannot, would not hide from Thee:
Thy perfect love wins perfect trust;
Our suffering is our only plea.
And Thou art with us all the way
Of life’s uncertain pilgrimage,
In storm and calm, by night and day,
In childhood, manhood, shadowing age;
And when we feel the hands no more,
That grasp our own by Jordan’s brink,
Thy arm will bear us safely o’er,
Thy bosom will forbid us sink.
And in the land that lies beyond,
Where sin and sickness never come,
Thy love will be the clasping bond
Of all within the Father’s home.
Edward Henry, Bishop of Exeter (1825 – 1906)
Theodorik of Prague – Saint Luke the Evangelist