The Master stood in His garden,
Among the lilies fair,
Which His own right hand had planted,
And trained with tenderest care.
He looked at their snowy blossoms,
"My lilies need to be watered,"
And marked with observant eye
That the flowers were sadly drooping,
For their leaves were parched and dry.
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.
AIt 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 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."