Got Lamp Oil?
The poem behind the painting of the ten virgins.
by Barbara G. Dykstra
A parable the Savior told to his disciples long ago
Of wise and also foolish ways, of signs and saints in latter-days.
The things He saw, we too can see, when next he come to you and me.
Ten virgins bearing lamps alight awaited the bridegroom through the night.
Invited, honored guests they came, some wise - some foolish, not the same.
Those who have eyes will surely see, they're much the same as you and me.
The first bears palms for homage true, an olive branch, a lily too.
Her voice speaks peace; she's humble, meek; she often turns the other cheek.
So pure in heart, oh, could it be - that his first virgin could be me?
The second crowned in burial white, seems searching for a heavenly sight.
The sacrament - her gift of love; the wheat and water decreed above.
Her repentant heart we all can see; perhaps this virgin could be me?
The third in Priesthood blue and gold concerns herself with young and old;
Ordinances for the living and the dead, two doves she brings the Prince who weds -
The Holy Ghost and sealings' key, this lovely virgin must be me.
Tall and fair with scrolls and lyre, the fourth seeks truth and knowledge power.
She sets her goals on talents bright, keeping eternity in sight.
She'll reach her goals and grow to be the kind of virgin I would be.
But wait, more wise than any others, the fifth give charity to her brothers.
Quietly, gently, her fruits are shared with all who need her loving care.
Even the foolishes' need she sees; oh, that this virgin might be me.
The sixth in proud and rich array lack for naught along life's way.
The treasures of the earth she brings; 'tis more to earth that heav'n she clings.
In her I see a part of me; is this the virgin I will be?
The seventh is surely pleasure's child, in dress and pose, not meek or mild.
It's time for eat and drink and fun; there's ample time ere the bridegroom comes
Her foolishness she cannot see; do other see that part of me?
The eighth has much to overcome - addictions and excess have quite undone
That temple holy her soul once was, now all eroded for sins' own cause.
If I'm not careful as can be, this foolish virgin will be me.
The virgin nine who loves the dark, in secret seeks to leave her mark.
Drawing others from the light, she sees all things with Satan's sight.
Her foolishness is sad to see; don't let her be a part of me.
Should I become a virgin ten, with power over the acts of men.
A troubled conscience I might know, as though the busy world I go;
All ego and dishonesty is what the world expects of me.
Am I more foolish or more wise? Am I living in disguise?
Do I gather oil ever bright, to keep my gospel flam alight?
When the bridegroom come, I pray He'll see one wise virgin will be me.