July 24, 2011
Sunday was a blessin' all the way around. We got up early enough to enjoy our coffee and green tea, we fed and watered critters, and we all got dressed and headed down in plenty of time so the Redneck could even make a call to his dad to catch up on the family news.
Preach allowed me to read my newest poem, "The Real Deal". I love when God inspires me to write a new poem, 'cause I never know just where the words are gonna take me, and this latest poem is a good example.
I told the church that there were more scriptural lessons in how the poem got written than in the poem itself! I had started the poem as a retellin' of the story of Paul and Silas praisin' God at midnight in the jail cell. I wanted it to be told as only a cowboy from the old west could have told it.
Now, that's all in there, but when I finished the Paul and Silas story, I said, "Great, Lord--now let's wrap this up!"
But God said, "Not yet. I want you to take it another step."
Okay, so I composed a few more lines.
"Good. Take a few more steps."
I composed a few more lines, and then the next phrase that came out of my mouth just caused me to freeze up.
"Um, nonononono, Lord, I can't do that! Folks won't like that in a poem."
Then I heard in my heart,
"Do you want to waste time having an argument with Me--which, by the way, you will not win--or do you want to write a poem that will say what I want people to hear?"
Come on--what was I gonna do? I wrote the poem that He wanted me to, and boy, was I glad that I did.
I want to share it here, and I pray that you will enjoy it, and that it may challenge you.
The Real Deal
July 11, 2011
We were sittin' in camp late one night,
Drinkin' the last of the coffee, weren't no moon in sight.
We was all gettin' drowsy, sleep was just within reach,
So I gave myself a shake and called over, "Hey Preach."
Dig yer old Bible outta that saddlebag,
Read one of them holy yarns, talk us up a good jag.
We're all tired, but we gotta watch this herd,
Or the trail boss will fire us, he gave us his word.
Preach sorta grinned as he opened his book,
Licked his finger and said, "Boys, let's just take a look,
At two circuit preachers, a couple of good Christian boys.
They was goin' round Jerusalem, tellin' folks about the joys
Of livin' for Jesus, and eternal life,
And how folks can have peace, even in the middle of strife.
But this group called the Pharisees, well, they didn't like that talk.
They was just hypocrites, couldn't even walk their own walk.
They laid hands on Paul and Silas, and dragged 'em to jail.
Had a deputy beat 'em up real bad, and locked 'em up without bail.
Now these boys weren't put in the regular jail, where you could look out through the bars.
They was put in the under jail, where you couldn't see any stars.
Now that place was depressin', and nasty to boot.
Ya see, the privy drained down past their feet from a chute."
Well sir, we all gave a shudder at that piece of news.
But we was all wide awake now, no one wanted to snooze.
I said, "Well, go on, Preach, tell us how it turned out.
I know there's a good endin' comin', I ain't got any doubt."
Preach said, "Boys, now wouldn't ya think,
Most folks woulda moaned and groaned after bein' tossed in that clink?
But no, not Paul and Silas, and from way down deep in their soul,
Praises and thanksgivin' just started to roll.
Them boys was singin' and worshipin' and praisin' to God,
And you know them other prisoners had to think that was odd.
They hadda be thinkin' how could anybody have joy in that situation?
But God was fixin' to give 'em all a big revelation.
Ya see, this big quake came and rattled the ground.
The jail doors swung open, and all their chains fell down.
The sheriff ran in, and hollered, 'Oh me!
I'm in trouble for sure, my prisoners have all done got free!'
He was just fixin' to fall on his big old sword.
But Paul hollered, 'Hold on pard, we're all still here, I give ya my word.'
That sheriff took them two fellas back to his home.
He cleaned up their wounds, I think he used mecurachrome.
He let ‘em wash up in an old tin tub.
Then he set ‘em at his table, gave ‘em some grub.
Then he sat across from ‘em, and asked, ‘Boys, what can I do,
To have salvation, peace and joy, just like you two?’
Paul was tearin’ hisself off a piece of sourdough.
And he said, ‘Well pard, if it’s about salvation you’re wantin’ to know.
Ya just gotta believe in the Lord Jesus, now make sure in your heart that it’s true.
Then you can be saved, and your whole family can too.’
Well fellas, that sheriff and his family all got saved that night.”
Then Preach stretched and yawned, and snapped his Bible shut tight.
And said, “Boys, I think I need to talk myself a walk.”
As he headed into the darkness, some of us started to talk.
Old Lefty asked me, “Do ya think he believes that holy stuff he talks about is really true?”
I smiled and said, “Yeah, Lefty, I uh, I do, I really do.
‘Cause back when I first met Preach, I was sittin’ in jail, probly gonna get hung.
Ya see, I killed Preach’s family, his wife and his son.
I was robbin’ a bank in their little town,
And in my rush to get away, I gunned two innocents down.
So when I went to trial, there in the courtroom he sat,
His head bowed low over a bonnet and a little boy’s hat.
He told me later he was prayin’ for wisdom that day,
And before the jury could give the verdict, Preach said, “I got somethin’ to say.”
Well it got real still, as we all waited to hear
From this quiet man who had lost those he had held dear.
He stood up and said, “I know ya all are thinkin’ I got the right
To hate this man, but I was prayin’ late last night.
And the words of Jesus came to me, soft and true.
He told me ‘you must forgive others, as I have forgiven you.
So I’m askin’ for mercy for the man on that stand,
For the deaths of my family, don’t send him to the hangman.
My Bessie and Jody, they both knew the Lord,
And I’ll see ‘em again one day, of that I’m assured.
I know it don’t make sense, what I’m askin’ ya’ll today.
But Jesus said, ‘If ya love Me, you’ll do what I say.’
Then he turned and walked out of the courtroom, without another word.
The judge said quiet like, ‘Well, I swear I don’t think I’ve ever heard
The truth of God’s grace and mercy put in such a plain way.’
Then Lefty, I saw a true miracle happen in that courtroom that day.
Now, for robbin’ that bank, yeah, I was sent away,
But I pert near passed out when I heard that judge say,
‘I’m not gonna sentence you to hang, instead I’ll let ya keep on livin‘.
And Son, I just pray that you understand the gift you’ve been given.’
As I was back in my cell later that night, I felt a stir down deep.
I knew it was the Savior, and I just broke down and began to weep.
I cried out, ‘Lord, how can that man forgive me for what I’ve done?’
Then I heard, ‘Because he knows Me through the blood of My Son.’
I gave my life to Jesus that night, and when from prison I got a release,
There stood Preach at the gates, and he could tell that I’d found peace.
He handed me the reins to a right pretty mare, and ever since that day,
Me and ol’ Preach, we been ridin’ together, followin’ in the Lord’s Way.
So Lefty, I gotta tell ya, this is how I truly feel.
Men like Preach, you don’t find too often--that man’s the real deal.
Well, I got chores. Later ya'll.
© 2011 by Evelyn Edgett