At Day’s End

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Black Columbia

One of our folks, Thumper, was explaining to me his life. He said that he had raised fifteen children, paid all the bills and maintained a household for decades. After his final child was settled, he never wanted to pay a bill again, so he decided to become homeless. He lives a quiet, very simple life, and generally comfortable.

He helped me out so much a few weeks ago. My car developed a gas leak, and it really shouldn’t have been driven (but I did for a while anyway). The part that needed to be replaced was only available through the dealer and then I would have to pay for someone to repair it in a shop. It was going to be expensive. and I had a dozen people wanting to help me with it. That was fine, but I know from experience not everyone knows what they are doing. One person had a plan, but he warned me that the plan might not work. And he was right. It didn’t.

So my vehicle was leaking a stream of gas now and I was going to have to have it towed as well as the part and the repair in a shop. Thump, however, said that he thought he could fix it cheaply and easily. I didn’t figure he could make it worse than it was, so I gave him twenty bucks for parts and got him a ride to a parts store. In about an hour he had repaired my vehicle and it still works now. I consider this to be a miracle of God, because a huge burden had been lifted off me.

He said that he never did have much use for a preacher or a church, although Anawim is different because they actually help people and he is able to help with us. The only sermon he took in and treasured was a poem he found in the Gresham Outlook in 1961, a hundred years after the poem was originally written by John Hall. It’s called “At Day’s End”:

Is anybody happier because you passed his way?
Does anyone remember that you spoke to him today?

The day is almost over, and its toiling time is through;
Is there anyone to utter now a kindly word of you?

Can you say tonight, in parting with the day that’s slipping fast,
That you helped a single brother of the many that passed?

Is a single heart rejoicing over what you did or said;
Does the man whose hopes were fading, now with courage look ahead?

Did you waste the day, or lose it? Was it well or sorely spent?
Did you leave a trail of kindness, or a scar of discontent?

As you close your eyes in slumber, do you think that God will say,
“You have earned one more tomorrow by the work you did today”.

I can’t actually say that I had ever preached a better sermon, so I just let it go.

Thanks, Thump.

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