It was the last cold spring morning
in the Upper Coastal Plains of southern Georgia.
After stopping by the Waffle House
in Americus for coffee and a biscuit
we traveled along the railroad tracks
through the countryside of pine tree silhouettes
and fields of winter wheat else lying fallow.
Before sunrise a fellowship had gathered
beneath a silent grove of pecan trees.
From all tribes and nations throughout the four corners
of the earth, we all had come on a pilgrimage
to hear the Sunday School Teacher
preachin’ about Faith.

He encouraged us all to not lose Faith
in humanity or democracy.
He encouraged us all to not lose Faith
while yet our home state is host to the
highest national rate of human trafficking
and slavery persists widely around the globe.
He asked the crowded church pews,
“So when did women in the United States of America
secure the right to vote”? We all hollered,
‘1920! 1910! 1918?!’, He shook his head no.
“Actually until 1965 many African American
women were still unable to vote.
Women around the world are unequally burdened
by the heavy chains of injustice and oppression.
So we still have a lot of work to do
and we’re gonna need Faith to do it.”

He was silent for a few moments,
then went on to share with the congregation
his apprehension of nuclear warfare.
He encouraged us all while living through
such perilous times to never lose Faith
He told us stories about Barnabas ‘The Encourager’
who was full of the Holy Spirit and Faith
Barnabas helped to establish the first churches
for the very purpose of taking care of
each other as brothers and sisters.
We too are so called to plant our purpose
in service to one another as brothers and sisters.

The Sunday School Teacher
turned all the offering plates in his wood shop.
He crafted the cross hanging above the choir.
He shared his busy schedule from memory,
speaking of his beloved wife often.
He looked every single person in the eye
and giggled when he told me he liked my hat.

With Loving Admiration, Keren E. King April 2018