Discovered by accident in an old hymn book while scouring for lyrics requiring new tunes, I'm now a confirmed fan of Jane Crewdson.
It helps that she was Cornish and a Quaker – a more refreshing combination to my mind than another public school Anglican – but really the thing that grabs me (as it does with William Cowper, who is a bit of a hero in my eyes) is the honest engagement with things that are more easily put to one side. Observe:
Lord, we know that Thou art near us,
Though Thou seem’st to hide Thy face;
And are sure that Thou dost hear us,
Though no answer we embrace.
Not one promise shall miscarry
Not one blessing come too late
Though the vision long may tarry
Give us patience, Lord to wait.
While withholding—Thou art giving
In Thine own appointed way
And while waiting we’re receiving
Blessings suited to our day.
O the wondrous loving-kindness
Planning, working out of sight,
Bearing with us in our blindness,
Out of darkness bringing light.
Weaving blessings out of trials,
Out of grief evolving bliss;
Answering prayer by wise denials
When Thy children ask amiss.
And when faith shall end in vision,
And when prayer is lost in praise,
Then shall love, in full fruition,
Justify Thy secret ways.
She's very good, isn't she?