poetry
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Giant of My Faith

You’re eighty-three years old
and I’ll be thirty-seven
and the truth of it is that
someday – if Christ doesn’t come first – you and I,
we’re going to die.

I anticipate that you’ll go before me,
because that’s just generally the order of life,
and if I recall, that’s how you want it anyway,
and you tend to get things your way
but, you never know.

But let me not linger on that, and let me move on 
to the one thing I do know, which 
is that I never want us to be apart. 

I don’t want you to leave me, 
and I don’t want to leave you, 
because I think there will be pain. 

But, I don’t really know. 

There’s a lot that I don’t know, but 
some things I do know, and the second thing 
is that you’ve deposited Life 
into my soul. 

And that’s the part of you that I know, 
I’ll never ever have to let go. 

Yes, you’ve deposited Life into my soul and I see you 
sitting on your rocker, slippers on feet 
crossed on a cushioned footstool, a magazine or book in hand, 
and a Bible open nearby. Sometimes you gaze 
out that big window that faces the front, and I wonder 
if in your mind’s eye you’re gazing on Him and He’s 
imparting life into your soul? 

I wonder how many prayers you’ve prayed there, 
and if that’s where He told you to buy a new 
Hanna-Barbera Greatest Adventure Bible video 
before all the grandkids clamored into town. 

Yes, you’ve deposited life into my soul. 
And that’s the part of you that I know, 
I’ll never ever have to let go. 

On a pedestal: I put you there. I know I’ve put you there, and

I’ll never take you down. 
Because you’re the giant of my faith 
The lesser known 
But definitely one of the giants of our time. 

It’s easier to put you on a pedestal when 
distance has hidden your frailty. 
I’ve not lived with you day after day, like 
some have. And so I’ve not seen you ugly with 
shouting frustration, complacent fatigue, 
aimless wondering, distracted worrying. 
I’ve not seen you when you 
ran to your room when you were overwhelmed 
and ignored it all for a moment – maybe to cry and pray? 
And I’ve not seen you when you may not have listened well or 
said the right things, or when you may have been 
so weak at times and out of ideas 

No, I’ve not seen you in your frailty much and 
So maybe, they’ll say, I regard you too highly 

But I’m no fool, and I’ve lived this life too, 
and I know you’re human and 
I’ve heard the concern in your voice 
over the condition of some soul. 

And what stands out to me is that you sound the trumpet and call for prayer 
and it seems after you’ve prayed, you just move on. 
And it’s like you live that verse 
that I think must be your lifeline 

Yeah, of course you haven’t had it all together, but 
you’ve shown me how to lean not on my own understanding 
and instead, to lean on the One who dwells inside 

That’s your lifeline and that’s why you’re the giant of my faith 
and you are one of the giants of our time 
because in all your ways you’ve 
acknowledged the One who does have it all together and 
He’s kept your soul’s path straight 

So that you’ve traveled the straight and narrow and you’ve been 
faithful 

faithful to Him 
faithful to your husband 
faithful to your kids 
faithful to your family 
faithful to your community 
faithful to the end 

and this is my soul’s consolation 
that you’ve deposited this Life into my soul. 
And that’s the part of you that I know, 
I’ll never ever have to let go.

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