Archive for May 10th, 2009


A few days ago, a severe storm blew through our area.  With winds exceeding 100 mph, it caused a fair amount of damage.  I was on a farm when it hit.  After the storm passed, the owner and I checked for damage.  The roof of one barn was gone.  We could see another one in the distance was completely gone and would later find that he lost a third one.


We drove as far as we could to check the one we could see.  A lot of downed trees blocked the way.  When we got to the site, we found some of his cows standing by the fence eating hay as if nothing had happened.  Some had gone into the barn to get out of the storm and were standing in two clear spots also eating hay.  The barn had somehow collapsed around them. 


Two were not so lucky.  Three wall sections were on top of them.  They were still alive but the weight had pushed them down into the mire.  We went for equipment to lift the wall the sections.  Once lifted, both struggled to free themselves and eventually made it, but the one which took most of the weight and was the farthest back naturally had a lot more trouble.  It felt good to see them both finally up. 


On the way home, which was another ordeal cutting and pulling trees off the roadway, I kept thinking about the cows.  I thought of the ones out by the fence and then the ones that were standing in the openings of the downed barn.  The latter were not more than 10 feet away from the ones that were trapped, but all just stood there eating hay.  None of them cared about the two. 


The Lord reminded me of a poem I had just read.  The first stanza goes as follows:

Oh altar, tell me of the day
When saints would tarry, weep and pray
When you were drenched with holy tears
As all the saints of God drew near

Are we guilty of standing by the fence enjoying our hay, not caring that so many are hemmed in by sin or worse yet, stuck deep in its mire?  Are we among those who are hemmed in yet content as long as we have our hay?  Are we among those who are stuck deep in the mire, hoping that someone would come along to help? 

We have lost the urgency to pray.  We need to get it back.

Oh altar, you have long been dry
Have we now no tears to cry?

For the entire poem, visit heismydelight.wordpress.com and look for ‘Oh alter’



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