Bored and unmotivated, I tried to redeem the day by sending the kids outside to play, as I sat down in the sun to read some poetry. The idea was that I would read poetry to the kids, but, as sometimes happens, great ideas get blown away with the wind, as the kids all run in different directions. Sigh.
Oh well, since I scored a GREAT FIND at the local library book sale, I settled back into my plastic Adirondack chair to check it out, coffee mug by my side, and sun on my face. Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest. EVERY POEM in this book is fantastic! I probably paid 50 cents or a dollar for 937 pages of early 1900's American Poetry. My cheap heart rejoices over stuff like this!
This poem reminded me of why the Body of Christ is so important:
by Edgar A. Guest
Leave it to the ministers, and soon the church will
Leave it to the women folk; the young will pass
For the church is all that lifts us from the coarse
and selfish mob,
And the church that is to prosper needs the layman
on the job.
Now, a layman has his business, and a layman has
But he also has the training of his little girls and
And I wonder how he'd like it if there were no
And he had to raise his children in a godless
It's the church's special function to uphold the
To teach the way of living from which all that's
But the minister can't do it single-handed and alone,
For the laymen of the country are the churches
When you see a church that's empty, though its
doors are open wide,
It is not the church that's dying; it's the laymen
who have died;
For it's not by song or sermon that the church's
work is done;
It's the laymen of the country who for God must
After taping not one, but two pages, back in (graciously ripped out in rapid succession by baby - sigh again, nothing is sacred!), I read on. So, since this week our church shared plans to build a many millions of dollars facility, the following poem caught my eye....
ON CHURCH BUILDING
God builds no churches! By His plan,
That labor has been left to man.
No spires miraculously rise,
No little mission from the skies
Falls on a bleak and barren place
To be a source of strength and grace.
The humblest church demands it price
In human toil and sacrifice.
Men call the church the House of God,
Towards which the toil stained pilgrims plod
In search of strength and rest and hope,
As blindly through life's mists they grope,
And there God dwells, but it is man
Who builds that house and draws its plan;
Pays for the mortar and the stone
That none need seek for God alone.
There is no church but what proclaims
The gifts of countless generous names.
Ages before us spires were raised
'Neath which Almighty God was praised
As proof that He was then, as now.
Those sacred altars, where men bow
Their heads in prayer and sorrow lifts
Its heavy weight, are Christian gifts!
The humblest spire in mortal ken,
Where God abides, was built by men.
And if the church is still to grow,
Is still the light of hope to throw
Across the valleys of despair,
Men still must build God's house of prayer.
God sends no churches from the skies,
Out of our hearts must they arise!
(You kind of have to read it at least twice to get it, or at least I did.)
When I laughed out loud at the following one, Mr. Nosey wanted to know what I was laughing at, so I told him this is what his Papi would say of me and read him the following:
THE WAY OF A WIFE
She wasn't hungry, so she said. A salad and a
cup of tea
Was all she felt that she could eat, but it was
different with me.
"I'm rather hungry," I replied: "if you don't
mind, I think I'll take
Some oysters to begin with and a good old-
fashioned sirloin steak."
Now wives are curious in this; to make the
statement blunt and straight,
There's nothing tempts their appetites like food
upon another's plate;
And when those oysters six appeared she looked
at them and said to me,
"Just let me try one, will you dear?" and right
away she swallowed three.
On came the steak, and promptly she exclaimed:
"Oh my, thats looks so good!
I think I'd like a bit of it." The game is one I
I cut her off a healthy piece and never whimpered
when she said:
"Now just a few potatoes, dear, and also let
me share your bread."
She wasn't hungry! She'd refused the food I
had been glad to buy,
But on the meal which came for me, I know she
turned a hungry eye.
She never cares for much to eat, she's dainty in
her choice, I'll state,
But she gets ravenous enough to eat whatever's
on my plate.