O long and dark the stairs I trod

O long and dark the stairs I trod;
With trembling feet to find my God
Gaining a foothold, bit by bit,
Then slipping back and losing it.
Never progressing, striving still
With weakening grasp and faltering will,
Bleeding to climb to God, while He
Serenely smiled, not noting me.
Then came a certain time when I
Loosened my hold and fell thereby;
Down to the lowest step my fall,
As if I had not climbed at all.
Now when I lay despairing there,
Listen, a footfall on the stair,
On that same stair where I afraid,
Faltered and fell and lay dismayed.
And lo, when hope had ceased to be,
My God came down the stairs to me!

— Anonymous.