Contributor Two Contributor Two
Shaking Off the Dust
Contributor Two Contributor Two
Some years ago our church, like too many others, was in decay. Bickering and backbiting over personal, pastoral and doctrinal issues had supplanted the Word of God as its guiding light. Nearly everyone had become sad, sin-sick and discouraged.

A new pastor came, and one Sunday morning during Adult Forum, declared we were going to study the Bible. Since no one brought their own, we scrounged around to fi nd enough Bibles for everyone and came up one short. I happened to look in the church foyer where there was a dust-covered shelf serving as a repository for old bulletins, some lost-and-found items, out-of-date hymnals and, in the corner, one small Bible. I brought the Bible back to where we were holding our study and made a big deal of blowing a cloud of dust off it. The pastor said, “That’s one problem we’ll be fixing.” With the reading of God’s Word, healing and restoration began that morning.

Four months later I wrote this poem.

THE CHURCH OF THE DUSTY BIBLE

Where they gathered in the entrance
before the service starts
to prepare for Christian worship
and open up their hearts,
stuck off in a corner
forgotten by itself
a dusty little Bible
sat unopened on a shelf.

The Church of the Dusty Bible
had long been down its road
and its people bent and broken
by sin’s enormous load
no longer seemed to care enough,
in blindness born of pain,
to let God’s sacred healing words
help make them whole again.

But God would not abandon them to
misery and shame,
He sent the dusty Bible to
speak to them in His name.
And in that dusty little book
the power of God on high
lay waiting like an acorn
needing soil to reach the sky.

The Church of the Dusty Bible
was fertile soil indeed
when hands reached up,
took down the book
to plant God’s divine seed.
When words of joy and hope and love
rose heavenward again
the Father’s cleansing rain poured down
and washed away their sin.

And now before the service starts
they gather in the pews,
reaching out to one another
with Jesus Christ’s good news.
Now with many others
all opened and adored,
a little well-worn Bible brings
the Gospel of the Lord.

 


— PATRICK GAROUTTE
Sioux City, Iowa