Years ago I met Marvin K. Gardner who worked with Church magazines. He’s one of the “good guys.” He’s written hymns, including “Press Forward, Saints.” He was on the committee which prepared the 1985 hymn book. He wrote the words to a beautiful hymn, “Room In The Inn,” which was published in the New Era in December of 1989. This is a wonderful addition to whatever else we might read or think about today – on Christmas Eve.
- Ah, Joseph, how you wearily implore
that someone will have pity on your plight,
And, with compassion, open wide the door—
For Jesus will be born this holy night.
Will no one offer shelter to the stranger?
Must Christ the King be cradled in a manger?
That night there was no room in the inn;
This night may there be room within—
Within my heart for him.
- Ah, Mary, how you patiently endure!
While heav’n awaits the blessed baby’s birth,
You wait outside the inn—alone, obscure—
And pray for some compassion here on earth!
You would have given shelter to the stranger.
Why must your Son lie cradled in a manger?
- O Father, how thy sons and daughters cry—
The lonely ones, the weary, the oppressed.
Fill thou my heart with love, that I may try
To lift another’s burden, give him rest.
Oh, may I have compassion for the stranger.
Remembering that Baby in a manger!
Text: Marvin Gardner
Music: Vanja Watkins
Composition Date: 1989-12-01
The music is included in the New Era Dec 1989