Contributor Two Contributor Two
The Beggar By The River
Contributor Two Contributor Two

Gloria was deeply touched by this song written by Robert Lowell Kerr, a minister who has attended Gloria’s Songwriting Intensive. Robert writes that the song describes “a veteran who’s living under a bridge, has lost everything over the years, yet clings to the hope he reads about on a crumpled page from the Bible.”


The old man stood beneath the bridge that sheltered him from rain;
The bottle on the ground beside him sheltered him from pain.
An open fire warmed his hands, the river flowed on by
Like all the years he’d left behind and still he wondered why
She never came to welcome him when he got off the plane
And though a hero in that war, now no one knew his name.

A Purple Heart reminded him, the sacrifice he’d made,
And from a tattered Holy Book he kept a crumpled page.
It told about a man like him with nothing left to lose,
Forgotten by the world he knew, with one last thing to choose.
He said to Jesus as he hung beside Him on the tree,
“When you come into your kingdom, please remember me.”

He thought about that dying man whose name the years had lost
And wondered if he’d ever thought he’d end up on a cross.
A tear appeared and trickled down into his graying beard,
He thought about the things he’d lost and all the things he feared;
He knelt down by his sleeping bag and prayed on bended knee,
“When you come into your kingdom, please remember me.”

A beggar by the river saw him lay his body down,
Knew this was the final night he’d sleep there on the ground.
Pulling off the blood-stained gloves that hid his cruel scars,
He sat down on the ground beside him there beneath the stars.
He put his arms around him then and whispered in his ear,
Drew him close and said the words he’d always longed to hear:

“This day you’ll be with Me in paradise and feast with kings,
Walk with Me on streets of gold and hear the angels sing.
I’ll stand beside you as you kneel before the Father’s throne
And hear Him call you by your name — and welcome you back home!”

                                                                           — ROBERT LOWELL KERR
                                                                           Terrell, North Carolina