There is an eye that never sleeps beneath the wing of night
There is an ear that never shuts when sink the beams of light
There is an arm that never tires when human strength gives way
There is a love that never fades away when earthly loves decay
There is a power which man can wield when mortal aid is vain
That eye, that arm, that love to reach, that listening ear to gain
That power is PRAYER which soars on high through Jesus to the throne
And moves the hand which moves the world to bring salvation down. --Longfellow/Keaggy
THE KING's ARMY
Once upon a time
A powerful and generous King
Had a magnificent kingdom.
The King loved his subjects
And provided for their every need
And much, much more.
It had even been reported
That once the King allowed his own son
Whom he loved dearly
To suffer a cruel and shameful death
In order to deliver his people from an impending disaster.
But the King had an enemy
Who, although not as powerful as the King,
Was strong and cruel and hated the King
And sought to do much harm
To the King's subjects.
Sometimes the King's enemy succeeded
In killing some of the King's people
Or taking them captive
Or destroying their peace and happiness.
And so the King, who was also very wise,
Organised his people into an army
So that they could defend themselves against the King's enemy
And take back those of their number
Who had been kidnapped.
Because the King loved his people
He equipped his army with the very best that money could buy
Powerful weapons the enemy could not resist
Strong and capable leaders Who had been trained by the very King himself
And everything that they needed to supply and support the troops.
The King's subjects loved being the King's own army, They loved to wear the uniforms
To display the powerful weapons
To march and sing battle songs
To meet in the well-appointed barrack rooms
To be trained by the very best instructors
And to play war games on the shooting range.
The only problem was
That the King's army
Enjoyed being the King's army So much
That they didn't go to war.
One day a unit of young soldiers
Was out on a training mission
When, away in the distance,
They heard a commotion.
Being young and inexperienced
They went to investigate
And there they discovered
Some troops belonging to the King's enemy
Taking some of their own people captive.
The King's solders were infuriated
They looked at the enemy troops
They looked at their neighbours
And friends And relatives
Who were being taken prisoner by the enemy
And they looked at the powerful weapons that the King had given them
And without even thinking any more about it
They attacked the enemy troops
And won the battle
And set free their neighbours
And relatives And friends.
And suddenly these soldiers realised
That they had been called
Not just to be the King's army
But to actually engage the King's enemy
And to take back those
Who had been taken captive by him.
So they continued fighting the King's enemy
Advancing further and further
Even into the enemy's own territory
Seeking to release their neighbours
And friends And relatives
Who had been taken captive by the enemy.
Because they were young and inexperienced
They didn't always win every battle
Sometimes they were injured
And sometimes they were tired
And sometimes they needed to repair and replace their weapons
And sometimes they just needed time out
From the noise and stress of the battle.
And so these solders of the King
Sent a messenger back to the King's people
To tell them of the battle
And the enemy
And the danger
And the toil And the pain
And the weariness
And of the tremendous joy
In seeing their own people being set free
From the power of the enemy.
But the King's subjects weren't interested in the battle
"It is dangerous", they said
"Surely our King, who loves us so much,
Wouldn't want us to risk our lives out there".
"Besides", others argued, "The King has given
Magnificent barracks And training centres
And recreational facilities And hospitals
Right here in the city
He wouldn't expect us to leave these behind
To look for some enemy in the mountains".
Others said that they really would like to help
Only that they didn't think they had enough training yet
Or they weren't sure that their weapons were powerful enough Or that since the King hadn't personally told them to go
They weren't sure that they were really the right people for the job.
And so the messenger returned empty handed
And the loyal soldiers fought on alone
And the King heard about it
And was very, very sad.
Paul Cull, Nova Friburgo, RJ, Brazil <firstname.lastname@example.org> http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/pcull January 29, 1998
MUSIC BY NATHAN GEORGE
v1 if you go to china
you might look a little strange
and if you stay right where you're at
you might never learn their ways
i say an old dog can learn brand new tricks
but if you watch your television set
you might learn they're just for kids
ch we could always hope to stay
in some place so familiar
and just avoid the change
and we could always hate the face
that don't seem so similar
and teach our young ones the same
(it's such a shame)
v2 now we could go back through time
to when pharoah was in charge
and we might see, we've not progressed too far
and down in madagascar
they too have shining stars
but they might not have 120
running through every green back yard
C. 1995 Nathan Clark George BMI.
173 Lambs Lane, Murphysboro, IL 62966
ONE WILL STAND
[Based on Don Richardson's ETERNITY IN THEIR HEARTS]
v1 waiting for these letters
told someday pages return in white
often apprised not to falter
for offers of redemption come by white sails
v2 certain hope will keep the people
hope not from them but passed from before
told to follow the beast of burden
trail the wonder to distant land, a well
ch from blighted trust living incomplete
the young may stray and surmise defeat
but wisdom of old repeats to the child
many prophecies may fail, many word may die
but one will hold, one will stand
one will choose and seek the souls of man
v3 the legion comes to steal the land
to soil the heart that once sought for truth
but some remain and hold to tradition
and will not faint, assured to wait
v4 in present day must we yield
to those who praise skeptics of past
the voice has been heard; the cloud is revealed
the veil of the world the lamb has sealed
C. 1996 Nathan Clark George BMI. 173 Lambs Lane, Murphysboro, IL 62966