The Watered Lilies

The Master stood in His garden, 
Among the lilies fair, 
Which His own right hand had planted, 
And trained with tend'rest care. 

He looked at their snowy blossoms, 
And marked with observant eye 
That the flowers were sadly drooping, 
For their leaves were parched and dry. 

"My lilies need to be watered," 
The Heavenly Master said; 
"Wherein shall I draw it for them, 
And raise each drooping head?" 

Close to His feet on the pathway, 
Empty, and frail, and small, 
An earthen vessel was lying, 
Which seemed no use at all; 

But the Master saw, and raised it 
From the dust in which it lay, 
And smiled, as He gently whispered, 
"This shall do My work today:

It is but an earthen vessel, 
But it lay so close to Me; 
It is small, but it is empty - 
That is all it needs to be." 

So to the fountain He took it, 
And filled it full to the brim; 
How glad was the earthen vessel 
To be of some use to Him! 

He poured forth the living water 
Over His lilies fair, 
Until the vessel was empty, 
And again He filled it there. 

He watered the drooping lilies 
Until they revived again; 
And the Master saw with pleasure 
That His labor had not been in vain. 

His own hand had drawn the water 
Which refreshed the thirsty flowers; 
But He used the earthen vessel 
To convey the living showers. 

And to itself it whispered, 
As He laid it aside once more, 
"Still will I lie in His pathway, 
Just where I did before. 

Close would I keep to the Master, 
Empty would I remain, 
And perhaps some day He may use me 
To water His flowers again." 

- Unknown -