It was a lamentable occasion,
and the rose petal cheeks of our former First Lady
were understandably moist. Our faces carried the shock
of a thousand tragedies. Our eyes were as ice
dripping in eighty degree weather.
Grief had taken a sword to us;
bits and pieces of our hearts were held together only by
the thread of God's promise never to leave us, nor forsake us.
Some church members left. Many stayed; a few left
but returned. Some complained. Others prayed.
It was a time of great uncertainty.
Like a grieving mother being strong
for the sake of her fatherless children, you ushered us
through the mourning.
And we watched as you stood uncompromising
and stern in the New Order.
The first year was rough.
Your style. His style.
Old rules. New rules.
Until we held the Book of Joshua up to our faces like a mirror;
saw ourselves crossing the Jordan River.
Everywhere our foot trod, you declared, "Mercy"
and it was so. "Deliverance" It was so. "Healing" It was so.
God continues to exalt you
in the eyes of your new sheep as a sign
that the greatness He has allowed
to go out from among us,
has surely been restored.
And It Is So.
Our original pastor died and his replacement had difficulty settling into the new job. I read my poem to him before the congregation and he was encouraged.