I stole this poem fragment by poet R.S. Thomas from Glynn because I loved it and wanted to share it/preserve it here.
I see them working in old rectories
By the Sunâ€™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 menâ€™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.
This poem reminded me of my father-in-law, a Baptist preacher in tiny West Texas Baptist churches. He didn’t usually work full time as a pastor, but rather he was what we now call a bi-vocational pastor. His churches were in places that don’t stand out on the map: Buda, Prairie Lea, Robert Lee and Maverick—all in rural Texas. He left no books, only journals written in spiral-bound notebooks, talking about things like the weather, the comings and goings of family members, and the many things he was thankful for.
My father-in-law, John Early, has gone to his reward, and his words and ideas often read as somewhat quaint and outmoded, but always faithful. God in his time or out of time will correct this.