The Pastor (Father’s Day Poem)

David Harris

This poem was a Father’s Day gift to my dad (who has been a pastor for about 35 years). I was staying with my parents, and when I woke up early one morning, I came downstairs to find him quietly reading his Bible in the kitchen with a cup of tea. I had seen the same scene countless times growing up, and it occurred to me that one of the key elements of a godly, committed pastor is a consistency of small habits and disciplines. This poem is an attempt to convey that truth.

bible open on table with coffee mug in the background

The Pastor

At the rooster’s call he’s no longer asleep

He quietly puts on the coffee or tea,

He sits in the dim of an approaching dawn,

He opens his Bible as he silently yawns.

The pages are worn and marked and frayed,

From decades of turning, from prayers that were prayed;

But from these texts, he’s built his existence,

And go on, he cannot without their assistance.

For a sacred call was placed on his life,

One agreed to be weathered through peace or through strife,

To see weary Pilgrims he’s able to sway,

To enter instead through the tough, narrow way.

For hours on end, he occupies his study,

And in other hours he’s causing lawyers to lose money

By helping saints and sinners alike

To work out their problems instead of to fight

When a baby is born, a blessing is said,

And a prayer is given over the sick and the dead

At their worst and their best, he’s consistently present,

Sadly for some, just on Easter and Advent.

There’s many who hate him and wish he would cease,

For the body of Christ, he causes increase,

But one truth that will be, has been, and still is,

It’s plain to see that God’s Hand works through his.

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