Note to My Readers: from mid-June to mid-August (6/18 - 8/20), I will be taking a summer break from posting new articles for my Thursday and Friday slots. This will only affect my Thursday series on the global growth of Christianity, and my Friday series, the "Theological Bestiary" of birds, both of which will resume in late August. During the summer, I'll be dusting off some of my best essays from the first few years of this blog (a decade ago), as well as my verse play "Thus Ends the World," and re-posting them in the Thursday and Friday slots. All other weekdays will continue to feature new material throughout the summer.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Legacy

This is an old poem, written ten years ago. I post it now because this past week marked my grandmother's ninety-fifth birthday, and the poem below was written for her. The year before I wrote it, I had worked in the town next to hers, and had had the privilege of spending a good deal of time with her, listening to her stories of family and friends from her years of growing up in the Great Depression. My customary caveat--my old poems are usually not my best, so forgive the occasional clumsiness of meter and rhyme. Beyond that, I hope you'll find it enjoyable. Happy 95th birthday, Gram!

Legacy


I ponder on the years gone by,
On thoughts of you and me,
Of how you taught my heart to lean
On the strength of legacy.
Here I am at twenty-three
And you are eighty-five;
You have watched me growing up
And you have helped me thrive.
To these young eyes you were always old,
Yet always young in joy,
With love that flows from ageless springs
Where grace and mercy join.
I remember how you praised my skills,
Though they were seldom strong,
How you delighted in my works
And gave me hope to carry on.
A fountain of encouragement,
A citadel of joy,
All these things you were to me
When I was but a boy.
You told me tales of who I was
And how I’d come to be;
I came to love the tales of those
Who walked ahead of me,
Of writers and saints and pleasant friends,
Of family now gone,
Of faithful roots that struck down deep
Into the glorylove of God.
I was one of the rich-blest few,
Heirs of the promised love
To a thousand generations
Of those who looked above.
This was the wisdom I learned from you,
The heritage of grace,
The legacy of fervent faith
From those who ran the race.
Someday when I am old and gray,
When time has flown on by,
I will gather my grandchildren to my knee
With a twinkle in my eye,
And then I’ll tell them all the tales
Of men who loved the Word,
Of mothers who prayed on bended knee
And brothers who longed to serve.
I’ll also tell them of the one
Who watched me in my youth,
Who loved and praised and challenged me—
I will tell them about you.
I’m so grateful, Gram, for all you’ve done,
For how you’ve strengthened me,
For showing me the tearful joys
Of aging gracefully.
God is gracious, we are His,
Years are a gift from Him,
So take this year He’s given you
And live it all for Him.
He is the joy in which we grow,
The light that never dims;
I am blessed to be a witness here
Of how you walk with Him.
Delight is mine to follow you
In family and in truth;
Your life is a root of strength for me,
This legacy of you.

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