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God's Lent Child

I'll lend you for a little time
A child of mine, God said,
For you to love the while she's here
And mourn for when she's dead
It may be six or seven weeks,
Or thirty years or three
But will you, till I call her back
Take real good care of her for me.

She'll bring her charm to gladden you
And should her stay be brief
You'll have her lovely memories
As solace for you grief.
I cannot promise she will stay
Since all from earth must return,
But there are lessons taught down there
I want this child to learn.

I looked the wide world over
In my search for teachers true,
and from the throngs that crowd life's way
I have selected you.
Now will you give her all your love,
Nor think the labor in vain,
Nor hate Me when I call around
To take her back again?

I fancy that I hear you say
Dear Lord, thy will be done,
For all the joy this child has brought
All fateful risks we run.
We sheltered her with tenderness,
We loved her while we may
And for the happiness we've known
We shall forever grateful stay
But you came 'round to call for her
Much sooner than we'd planned...
Dear Lord, forgive our grief
And help us understand.