To Celebrate Raymond

Finally Home
The young son

left home at nine

reasons unknown

memories dimmed

by time or choices.
Youth lost to 

hours

and days

and years

no direction

no community.

Worth not considered,

unknown.
A new home

cherished

a small church building

with mega church care.

A vital congregation

disciples a constant 

with smiles of welcome

to a community of faith.

Recurring disappointments

but love always

his only vision of God’s promise

and power.
His idea

the weekly supper

Saturday nights

the congregation made new

servants and food

neighbor redefined.

Fear displaced

by vans of 

broken community

the hungry, the cold, the homeless.
A pastor loves

a pastor teaches

the young man his family

because he is God’s family.

The words come alive

in redefinition, changed thinking

the mix made possible

by intention and steadfast resolve.
Good days and hard days

moving forward but often back

behaviors resulting

in jails both real and imagined.

Days interspersed with a kind

of joy sprung from value

when accepted

and childlike love

given freely.
Needs narrow

a warm space

a little food

love that stays.
A paupers’ cemetery

the final call home

circled by

friends of circumstance

and survival

friends who

shared pews 

and smiles

hugs and

genuine care.
 The pastor who loved

through acceptance

without judgement

speaks simply but eloquently

to equal worth through

grace.

Words 

to gather up

arms full

a lesson for 

lifetime thought

lifetime use.
Tears for loss

but joy

for wholeness.

Finally home.

jshields

written to honor Raymond.

11.16.14

One thought on “To Celebrate Raymond

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