The Seeker’s Song
Man looks on the outward appearance -- God sees the heart. What few may realise when they see this picture of the king and queen of Bulgaria is that the Queen got her education at a Christian community and her mother was an earnest believer, caught in "impossible circumstances" all her life.
Queen Eleonore's mother, also called Eleonore, grew up in a castle in Oberhessen, Germany. While still in her early teens, her parents arranged for her to get married to Prinz Heinrich LXXIV von Reuss, living on his family's estate in what is now far eastern Germany, next to the border with Poland. Eleonore went, but with grave misgivings. Her husband was a worldly young man, paying scant attention to her -- far more interested in high society, his lands, his money, and his large number of friends.
But God did not forsake Eleonore, a timid girl, who wanted with all her heart to know him. Right next to the castle at Köstritz, lay a quiet Christian community called Niesky (Moravian Brethren). Community members, working at the castle, came and went all the time. Little by little Eleonore opened her heart to them. Warmed by their sincere love and drawn to their life, she confessed Christ and longed to become part of them.
Prinz Heinrich would not hear of it.
All her life, Eleonore lived in Heinrich's castle at Köstritz. She sent her children to the community school, but when they grew up she had no control over where they went. Her husband married her daughter Eleonore (pictured above) to the strange widower king of Bulgaria, who said he wanted a wife that would never need any love or attention. Openly homosexual, he needed a consort only for diplomatic reasons, but never shared a room with her -- not even on their wedding trip. Like her mother, Eleonore had a wretched life. But in her mother's steps she loved and served God as best she could. And, even though she live in far-away Bulgaria she kept singing the lovely song her mother wrote:
The Seeker’s Song
Ich bin durch die Welt gegangen, und die Welt ist schön und groß,
und doch ziehet mein Verlangen mich weit von der Erde los.
Ich hab viele Menschen gesehen, und die suchen spät und früh,
sie schaffen, sie kommen und gehen, und ihr Leben ist Arbeit und Müh.
I've roamed through the world beholding, how wide and fair it lay,
Yet all of my longing draws me, far, far from this world away!
I've seen men and women searching, as they restlessly come and go,
While the toil and the sorrow of living, is all that their sad hearts know.
They seek where there is no answer, in the honour and love of men,
And their hearts are bereft of comfort and their souls laden down with sin.
Yet there is an end to searching, where the weary and sore distressed,
Find new life in the Lord and his people, and sorrow is laid to rest!
There alone is true peace given, to seekers from every land,
It streams from the throne of heaven, from the wounds of the conquering Lamb!
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During World War II, Queen Eleonore threw herself into caring for the sick and wounded. She died during the war, in 1917. Her mother had died a number of years earlier, but the song she wrote lives on. We love to sing it together, here at Rocky Cape. Should you wish to hear or learn it too, listen to it in German at:
Praise God, our Lord Jesus is no respecter of persons!