Of Thankful Age

Some time ago, I watched a man sit down to eat.
A man of age so great was he,
An ancient man compared to me.

Noontime, it was, as I recall the antique face
With faithful hands together drawn
Upon the numbers of his clock.

With quiet nod of thanks to she who gave it him,
I watched him softly take his soup.
I wondered at what things he knew.

Upon what wonders had he feasted in his life?
How long had he relied upon his Lord?
How much had been provided him?

His faithful hands together drew; I heard a quiet “tick.”
With elbows resting on the table,
His thumbs had met his aged face.

He sunk his head in thanks to Him, who gave him soup.

-J. Wilbur


Given I’m posting this the day before we Americans celebrate the national holiday of Thanksgiving, I thought this would be an appropriate little poem.  “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful” (Col 3:15).

Quite a lot of years ago, I was at the house of a fellow-believer for a Bible Study.  At the time, they were caring for a failing parent.  I don’t remember how old he was but I had heard that he had lived a life faithful to the Lord.  By the time I met him, pretty much the only thing he ever spoke about was the wooden clock he had crafted in his younger days and which now hung prominently in the house.

As we sat in the living room and settled down for the Bible study, I happened to glance into the kitchen as the man’s daughter was setting down his lunch: a bowl of soup.  He nodded thanks to her and prayed.  I couldn’t help notice as he prayed with his hands folded and pressed against his face that he actually looked like the clock he had made.  And I wondered what he was saying to the Lord in his mind.

A few weeks or months later, his own time complete, he passed into the presence of the Lord I had watched him thank that afternoon.


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