Yes, O Lord, with You, but not to You. All my natural alienation from You, Your grace has effectually removed; and now, in fellowship with Yourself, I walk through this sinful world as a pilgrim in a foreign country. You are a stranger in Your own world. Man forgets You, dishonors You, sets up new laws and alien customs, and knows You not.
When Your dear Son came unto His own, His own received Him not. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world did not recognize Him. There was never a foreigner who stood out from the inhabitants of any country as much as your beloved Son among His mother's brethren. It is no marvel, then, if I who live the life of Jesus should be unknown and a stranger here below. Lord, I would not be a citizen where Jesus was an alien. His pierced hand has loosened the cords that once bound my soul to earth, and now I find myself a stranger in the land. My speech seems to these pagans among whom I dwell a strange tongue; my manners are singular, and my actions are outlandish. A prince would be more at home in the ghetto than I could ever be in the haunts of sinners.
But here is the sweetness of my circumstance: I am a stranger with You. You are my fellow-sufferer, my fellow-pilgrim. Oh, what joy to wander in such blessed company! My heart burns within me on the journey when You speak to me, and though I am a traveler, I am far more blessed than those who sit on thrones, and far more at home than those who live in their comfortable homes.
To me remains nor place, nor time:
My country is in every clime;
I can be calm and free from care
On any shore, since God is there.
While place we seek, or place we shun,
The soul finds happiness in none:
But with a God to guide our way,
'Tis equal joy to go or stay.