A poem by John Henry Newman (d. 1890)I have a place in God’s counsels,
in God’s world, which no one else has;
whether I be rich or poor, despised or esteemed by man,
God knows me and calls me by my name.
God has created me to do Him some definite service;
He has committed some work to me
which He has not committed to another.
I have my mission–I never may know it in this life,
but I shall be told it in the next.
Somehow I am necessary for His purposes,
as necessary in my place as an Archangel in his.
If, indeed, I fail, He can raise another,
as He could make the stones children of Abraham.
Yet I have a part in this great work;
I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons.
He has not created me for naught.
I shall do good, I shall do His work;
I shall be an angel of peace,
a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it,
if I do but keep His commandments and serve Him in my calling.
Therefore I will trust Him.
Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away.
If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him;
in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him;
if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him.
My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow
may be necessary causes of some great end,
which is quite beyond us.
He does nothing in vain;
He may prolong my life, He may shorten it;
He knows what He is about.
He may take away my friends,
He may throw me among strangers,
He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink,
hide the future from me—
still He knows what He is about.