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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Volunteer (11/23/06)

TITLE: Jesus, I wasn’t just a volunteer.


When I was just a little girl
Mrs Hadley lived next door.
She was so very old and frail.
I always swept her stairs.

That’s when I first wanted to be a volunteer.

At twelve-years-old, I befriended Mrs Jones.
I’d take her little Sally for a visit to the park.
I pushed her child-size wheel-chair, right down to the pond.
We often sat and laughed for hours-- feeding baby ducks.

I learnt very early the simple pleasures of a volunteer.

Church offices were a specialty
printing this and stapling that.
Answering telephones filled my day.
Some of the answers I didn’t have.

“Sorry,” I used to say, “I’m just a volunteer.”

Fire once destroyed a town, twenty miles away.
Tornados blew the roofs off houses in 1989.
Sometimes heavy rains and floods, threatened livelihoods.
Many meals I have made. No one ever had to ask.

I was only one of many dedicated volunteers.

Nursing homes were my treat.
Poor Mr Horace was losing his mind.
He always wanted me to serve him tea.
You see, his room was numbered, 747.

He thought I was an Airline-volunteer.

Shopping bags were always heavy and errands to be done.
The hills were always steep. I never drove a car.
For the house-bound widow, I’d go that extra mile.
To complain is something I could never do, because,

I was Mrs Cooper’s volunteer.

Pastor Paul retired a little while ago.
50 years of service needed celebrating.
Volunteers were needed to decorate the hall.
My hand shot up, I couldn’t help it.

I‘ve always been a volunteer.

I remember the years I visited the dying and the sick.
Tears flow unrestrained, down my sunken cheeks.
I’ve held the hand of a mother whose child was going to die
and led many cancer patients through the sinner’s prayer.

Jesus, I wasn’t just a volunteer.

Yesterday, I turned seventy five.
The boy next door swept my porch.
He wanted me to tell a story
but all I could think of was:

My life I spent as a volunteer.

Now, my only visits are with young Billy Barnes.
He was blinded by a blast in the Iraq war.
Every evening we share a laugh and a piece of cake,
after I read him the daily news, of course.

I think I’ll always be a volunteer.

One day when I go home to glory,
I’d love to serve my Jesus there.
Maybe I can be a volunteer.
But, it would be really nice to hear my Jesus say,

“Well done, you good and faithful volunteer.”

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This article has been read 1183 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Allison Egley 11/30/06
Oh, this is great. I especially liked the lines set apart from the main poem. Love it.
julie wood11/30/06
I really enjoyed this poem! I especially loved the very specific and colorful descriptions of the individuals the narrator helped over the years (especially Mr. Horace in the nursing home who thought he was riding in a 747 jet!).

The message is beautiful, and one gets a clear impression of the elderly narrator's faith and selflessness--but this is all brought most to life by the way each person described is brought to life. Great job!
Amy Michelle Wiley 12/01/06
I too especially like the lines set apart. Good job!
Donna Powers 12/01/06
This is very nice and kudos to you for your spirit of volunteerism. I also enjoyed Mr. Horace and his room number. Nice work.
Leigh MacKelvey12/02/06
You used nice description and the poem read smoothly.
I could "see" throughout the poem.
Jesus Puppy 12/02/06

You know what I mean.
Debbie Sickler12/04/06
Like everyone else, I also liked the part about the 747, but my favorite part was at the end. I liked how you showed her aged and now having someone else sweeping her porch as she had done for others. It made it feel like her life had come full circle, but then you snuck in her reading to the blind to show she wasn't done volunteering yet. Nice touch. :)
Myrna Noyes12/04/06
I enjoyed reading about the different ways the lady volunteered throughout her life and about the various people she helped along the way!
Catrina Bradley 12/04/06
Ditto everyone.
I enjoyed reading about the life and heart of this true volunteer. Well done.
Joanne Sher 12/04/06
Love how you formatted this - and, of course, the wonderful message. Nice job!
Jan Ackerson 12/04/06
This really communicates your sweet, sweet spirit. Lovely.
Jen Davis12/04/06
I so enjoyed this very endearing poem. I chuckled at: “Sorry,…I’m just a volunteer” and felt a tug of my heartstrings at: “Yesterday, I turned seventy five.” Very sweet and nicely done.
Shanti Singh12/05/06
This is really beautiful. Thank you so much for this wonderful view of what it means to volunteer.
Valora Otis12/05/06
This is such an endearing poem. It was also pleasing to the eye and easy to follow. I felt the sweetest spirit intertwined through each stanza. Thank you for writing this:-)
william price12/06/06
Very, very nice job!! I liked the format, enjoyed the writing and was ministered to by the message. God bless.
Pat Guy 12/06/06
It was refreshing to read an entry about someone who really wanted to, and enjoyed, being a volunteer instead of tring to get out of it! Great job!

I loved the format too but I also liked the flow and the whole story in poetry. Kudos to ya!
Michelle Burkhardt12/06/06
Nice poem. My favorite line was the 745...airline volunteer.
terri tiffany12/06/06
Great job! I hardly read poetry but this one hooked me! lived it:)
Sara Harricharan 12/06/06
Loved this-so cute and very touching,the flow was great.
Thanks for commenting on Eon-Foce Volunteers!