In Remembrance and Hope
The following lines were written on January 12, 2010, as the writer made his way home from the memorial celebration of Dr. Robert H. Clark: “Uncle Bob,” who spent 92 years, six months and 21 days on Planet Earth. In his memory, and in determined hope that his passions will live on.
On the way to Baltimore with more to do today;
Hurry up and wait awhile and think of what to say.
I only have a little time to impact planet earth.
Of good intent and peaceful acts there seems to be a dearth.
If thirty years, or thirty-five, are all I have remaining,
if when I at the gates arrive without needless complaining,
I’d like it to be said of me that in this span of time
I’ve made it plain what I can see, for those I leave behind:
I see a world where selfish strife no longer reigns supreme,
Where love of neighbor, love of life, are no mere fancied dream.
Where each awakened soul can see the tie that binds us all
Into a common destiny by which we rise or fall.
Where Christ is lifted up, not as an idol or ideal
Forever out of reach for us; but as that fully real
And present guide for human life in all its varied strands;
And “love your neighbor as yourself” sums up all God’s commands:
Where force is not the final word, no more the last resort;
But grace, abounding everywhere, receives a good report.
Where bruised reeds are not broken, nor smoldering wicks snuffed out;
But every language spoken tells of what love is about.
Where deaths are not avenged with more destruction born of hate;
But life’s brief span reminds us that we have no time to wait.
Where sorrow leads to promise of remembrance of the wise,
And joy invades the darkness by the grace that God supplies.
Where tears wash out the bitterness and pain of friendships lost,
And bring a clearer vision that the work is worth the cost.
For if eternal life is what we hope for in our heart,
Then the things that last forever are deserving of a start.
So let me live today, and every day, for all my years
Determined to respond to my best hopes, not my worst fears.