Ripened Years

Christians should ripen with the passing years,
Mellow and soften, sweet and tender grow,
As orchard fruitage mellows on the bough,
When autumn breezes laden branches blow.

Fruit may be wind-blown, kissed by sun and rain,
Weather the storm blast, greet both shine and shade,
Meet spring's gay laughter, summer's radiant smile—
Full ripe when autumn's hand is on it laid.

So should the Christian grow, as seasons roll,
Steadfast if tempests rage, or winds are stilled,
Meeting with faith serene earth's frown or smile,
Resting assured Love's purpose is fulfilled.

If warmed by sun of righteousness we live,
Mellowed by showers of blessing from above,
Softened and tender by experience made,
Sweetened by understanding, hope, and love;

Then the heart's orchard will a beauty show,
Rich with the fruits of service, joyous, bright;
Greeting with color-burst life's harvest time,
Glory of ripened fruit— fullness of light.

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October 1, 1932

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