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Archive for November 20th, 2008

Samsonite, American Tourister

Or Jordache is the name,

Bought new or “one-owner” or yard sale;

It’s all the same.

Cause, just like mortals on this earth,

Where we’re headed decides our worth.

And I’ve value above my “race”;

I’m a missionary’s suitcase.

 

I’m a soft-sided navy

Or a color that used to be white,

Or I’m brown or gray with scars

That make me a grand sight.

The outside color doesn’t count,

I carry wealth beyond amount.

Who cares for a pretty face,

When you’re a missionary’s suitcase?

 

I’ve started out from Kansas City,

Phoenix [1] or Kalamazoo,

Left from ranches near Helena,

South of Denver too.

Parted from parents in New York,[2]

And at stations on the “South Fork.”

The privilege soon outweighs the place.

I’m a missionary’s suitcase.

 

I’ve been transported by mules

In South American mountain heights,

Packed in the bowels of a boat

Without windows or lights,

Been slid high overhead on trains.

And been stacked seven-deep in planes.

What a way to go!  What a chase,

For a missionary’s suitcase.

 

I’ve become a seat

Beside yon Africa’s dusty, lonesome trails;

Been a pillow to men

And women in foreign jails.

I’ve served as altar for a “bunch,”

And when its time for a quick lunch,

Over me they said their Grace,

Over a missionary’s suitcase.

 

I’ve carried the clothes of a bashful bride

With all that they could yield.

And packed home the patched,

The frayed suits from India’s field.

Out went pretty new gowns and shirts;

Home came thin pants and ragged skirts.

I couldn’t always pack pink lace;

I’m a missionary’s suitcase.

 

I’ve been carried out with the quickness

Of a youthful, holy pride.

And returned with a slower,

Wiser, more humble stride.

Time and again I’ve made the rounds;

Same airports, same roads, same old towns,

Back to the one familiar base;

I’m a missionary’s suitcase.

 

I’ve been cleaned and packed and shipped,

Amid happy voices and bright smiles;

A daughter’s wedding waited

At the end of my miles.

I’ve also felt those hot full tears,

As a parent ended his years.

It was all a part of my pace,

As a missionary’s suitcase.

 

I’ve ─ but wait, all good things must have an end,

Soon, so soon I will be

Carrying their things one final time

Across the sea.

Missionaries will leave behind,

Trunks and barrels of every kind.

Up that Golden Staircase,

They will never need another suitcase.

– eab, 11/1991


[1] Only God knew in ’91 that Phillip and Heather would leave Phoenix for missions.  He is so wise and good!

[2] And – only the Lord knew that Daryl and Laura would go to their second mission field from NYC.  Oh, His knowledge.

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“Praise Him! Praise Him!”   (stanza 2)

Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessèd Redeemer!
For our sins He suffered, and bled, and died.
He our Rock, our hope of eternal salvation,
Hail Him! hail Him! Jesus the Crucified.
Sound His praises! Jesus who bore our sorrows,
Love unbounded, wonderful, deep and strong.

Francis Jane Crosby wrote thousands of hymns in her later life.  She is credited with 8000.  She did not write her first one until she was 45 years of age.  This means within 50 years she wrote 8000 hymns (an average of 160 a year or about three a week.  What a writer!   

Fanny was religious as a youth but was soundly converted to Jesus at a Methodist revival at age thirty.  She said of this day,  “The Lord planted a star in my life and no cloud has ever obscured the light.”

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Faults!

The one who says he has no faults

 

                                        is false. – eab

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