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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Park (10/25/12)

TITLE: The Mister and The Lad
By Charla Diehl


While enjoying the beauty of the park, one I often browse
My eyes fixed on a boy and curiosity was aroused
His hair was rather shaggy, smudged face and tattered clothes
I thought what you might think--he’s an orphan I supposed

He limped onto the swing set, removed a pebble from his shoe
Then pumped his legs so hard he pierced a fluffy cloud clear through
As my usual custom when the park’s my destination
I brought some cracker snacks for the feathered population

I thought it rather sad that this child alone still played
Though shadows began stretching, he seemed not the least afraid
He gathered in his jacket then curled up beneath the oaks
My heart ached for him ‘cause he seemed to have no folks

When we find ourselves in God-appointed situations
Why do we watch and stare with so much hesitation
A nudging, then a pushing led me toward the trees
“Hello there young fella, could I share your spot--please”

Below strong and leafy arms he nestled by my side
Shared he’d been on his own since both his parents died
“Don’t have no family, didn’t like the foster places
Nobody really wanted me--I saw it in their faces”

“Well son, that’s where you’re wrong because Jesus really cares”
“Yeah, Mom told me that when we used to say our prayers
She said if I needed him, I should just shout out his name
Then he’d come and help me--but that must’ve been her game”

“Are you alone here mister--is all your family dead?”
“No,” my voice quivered as thoughts swirled inside my head
Easily he talked with me--I guess he sensed no danger
Or maybe he was never told you shouldn’t talk to strangers

In the glow of the streetlights I saw his teardrops fall
I gathered him in closer--“Together, let’s give a call”
This nine year old studied me as he swiped at salty tears
“You see, Jesus has been my friend for many, many years.”

“Sometimes it’s hard to hear Him, the world’s so full of noise”
I patted on my heart--“it’s here you’ll feel His joys”
In the shelter of the oaks we shouted “Jesus” in the dark
Silence for just seconds--then faith was heaven-sparked

The child burst with excitement--“I heard Him--I really did
He said he sent you to me so that I could be your kid,
Mister, I’m glad you knew Jesus, and how to listen too
I want to know Him better--bet I’ll learn a lot from you”

“I’d like to help you boy, be a grandpa kind of friend--
Someone to protect you and on whom you can depend”
Well the lad was plenty willing, even eager I might add
His smile lit up his eyes--“never had a real grand-dad”

Well that’s how God used me one unsuspecting night
An old man and a boy drawn together by His might
The lad became the son I dearly wanted in my youth
And in that very park we often sat and studied Truth.

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This article has been read 341 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Karen Pourbabaee 11/02/12
Such great rhyme and meter...it's amazing to me the skill it must require to tell such a beautiful story at the same time...it was really touching!
Margaret Kearley 11/05/12
A really lovely poem. Such a touching story and beautifully told. Good rhythm and rhyming.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/07/12
Wow what a delightful way to tell a stunning story. Your rhymes and the way you made the words flow from the page intrigued me. Then the descriptions kept me going and finally at the end, like the boy a sense of peace washed over me.
Beth LaBuff 11/08/12
Charla, I love it all, starting with the title. This was such a satisfying story in a beautiful poetic format. I could see these two and it warmed my soul. Thanks.