Thursday, June 06, 2002

Walking toward Emmaus

Still rough, but more commentary than art, so I'll post as is:

I traveled today, down an old country road,
and, there, met a man who was going my way;
We talked for a while, unburdened our loads,
And both shared our stories - we had lots to say.

And I found that he was a musician too,
And a Catholic to boot, what an unlikely chance:
That two servants of God, who had so much in common,
Would also be sharing this unlikely dance.

"Let's sing," he suggested, "to brighten our journey,"
"Good idea", said I, "it will help pass the time;
He suggest a plainchant, I said, "I don't do that,
But some St. Louis Jesuits sure would sound fine."

"Never touch 'em", he quipped, as he eyed me with caution,
and we both felt a strangeness, unease in the air,
"Pick a hymn", he suggested, "Don't use 'em," I countered,
But perhaps a nice chorus of, say, "Were You There?"

"You jest", he opined, "Then some Haas?" I replied,
"Or Cooney or Haugen or Hurd?' - "You mean David?"
He brightened. "No, Bob", his face fell, so did mine,
As we struggled to find songs the other church guy did.

We were saddened, and torn, by this unlikely silence,
One Bread, and one Body, but two disparate songlists,
With no song in common to lighten our trudging,
A glimmer, a thought, came to us both, and it was this:

"I'll learn one of yours, if you'll learn one of mine",
We both said simultaneously, thrilled at the thought
That the other would learn the great song we had in us,
And we figured we'd put up with singing HIS rot.

So I taught him some Joncas, Psalm 130, he LIKED it!
He taught me the Te Deum - it was deep and profound!
I asked for another, and he did likewise,
And the countryside 'round us was filled with our sound.

When the road forked, we parted, but glad for the time shared,
We'd each grown a bit in our travels that day,
And one day we'll both meet in that heavenly choir,
I'll strum my guitar, and the organ he'll play,
On the one other song we BOTH knew on that day:

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me;
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

copyright Jay Ricketts, 2002. All rights reserved.

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