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Father’s Gift

by  Merrill C. Tenney

To you, O son of mine, I cannot give
A vast estate of wide and fertile lands;
But I can keep for you, the whilst I live,
Unstained hands.
I have no blazoned scutcheon that insures
Your path to eminence and worldly fame;
But longer than empty heraldry endures
A blameless name.
I have no treasure chest of gold refined,
No hoarded wealth of clinking, glittering pelf;
I give to you my hand, and heart, and mind—
All of myself.
I can exert no mighty influence
To make a place for you in men’s affairs;
But lift to God in secret audience
Unceasing prayers.
I cannot, though I would, be always near
To guard your steps with the parental rod;
I trust your soul to Him who holds you dear,
Your father’s God.

—   Merrill C. Tenney (1904-1985) was a professor of the New Testament and dean of the graduate school at Wheaton College. This poem, penned for his two sons, expresses the heart’s desire of a Christian father to pass on a lasting spiritual heritage.

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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

2 corinthians 1:3-4