Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I Like This Poem

I came across this poem by R.S. Thomas, who was an Anglican minister (died in 2000).

The Country Clergy
I see them working in old rectories

By the sun’s light, by candlelight,
Venerable men, their black cloth
A little dusty, a little green
With holy mildew. And yet their skulls,
Ripening over so many prayers,
Toppled into the same grave
With oafs and yokels. They left no books,
Memorial to their lonely thought
In grey parishes; rather they wrote
On men’s hearts and in the minds
Of young children sublime words
Too soon forgotten. God in his time
Or out of time will correct this.

The last four lines strike me. Those of who lead communities of faith find it next to impossible to measure the fruit of our labor like a Mechanical Engineer or a Carpenter does. But, as Thomas pens, "God in his time or Out of time will correct this."

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