Hi everyone,
This poem has been in the works since the mission trip I went on last year to Crisfield, Maryland to clean up from hurricane damage. It describes one of the most powerful moments for me on this trip. It was on Palm Sunday at Asbury United Methodist Church, when the entire congregation gave an overwhelming response to their pastor’s prayer request. I tried to capture that moment here.
God bless
a single prayer request echoes over
the microphone at the front of the sanctuary,
and the congregation moves.
I stare, moved without moving,
a mere visitor in the pews today
as these storm-battered people
rise from their seats and wrap around
their pastor, who gives them
direction and prayers week after week and now
stands before them speechless,
shadowed by uncontrollable
circumstance. Hands reach out
to touch him and his ailing wife in an interlocking
wall of hands on shoulders,
firm and sure as a seawall standing fast
against the hurricane. Clustered together
in matching purple and white mission trip t-shirts,
we visitors watch this cloud of witnesses live the line from the old hymn
we wear on our backs today:
When the storms of life are raging, stand by me.
Acknowledgment: Request for a “cloud of witnesses” poem from Wesley Campus Ministry bible study group at University of Delaware. Hymn reference from United Methodist Hymnal, text also available here: Tindley, Charles Albert. “512. Stand by Me.” Accessed March 21, 2014.
Creative Commons License
Seawall by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Duncan
    Mar 22, 2014 @ 09:36:20

    That is an awesome moment. You really captured the experience in this poem I think.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: