The Visitor

The church board had a visitor
     who had but one request.
They looked him over carefully:
     they didn't know their guest.
The face they didn't recognize,
     a member he was not.
His clothes were kind of dirty, though.
     "He must be poor!" they thought.

The visitor began to speak:
     "I've something now to say --
The church, you know, is where one goes
     to worship and to pray.
But there is more that it should do:
     your building is God's tool
To help the poor and serve the world,
     or even house a school!
Throughout the week, you keep it closed;
     it's hardly used at all!
But I've got something everyday
    for which to use your hall!"

And when he told them what it was
     they all looked rather tense.
The thing that worried them the most
      was all of the expense.
And then they listed other things:
     the dirt and all the wear.
They doubted that their edifice
     was something they should share.
"We're really sorry, but you know,
     our church is in a bind.
Right now our church needs every cent
    our offering plates can find!
Our members, they are getting old,
     the youth have gone away.
We have to keep our church for us
     to worship and to pray."

The visitor got up to leave,
    and as he left he said,
"My friends, you'll have to sacrifice
     to rise up from the dead.
You've closed your church to life, itself,
     while all the world is crying.
And that's the reason that your church
    has all this time been dying!"

The church board had a visitor,
    they should have been quite awed.
Too bad they didn't know his name
    was Christ, the Son of God.

--Paul G. Donelson

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