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Church Pew

A stranger in a dark suit

Came to our church one day

We could tell by looking at him

That he wasn’t one to pray.

Mama smiled kindly at him

When he removed his coat and hat,

But then I heard an old man say,

‘Would you take a look at that?”

When I dared to look his way

I saw a tattoo of a snake

There beside it was the image

Of a burning fire lake.

At that moment I was certain

Though I knew it wasn’t right,

The whole congregation judged him-

He was trouble in their sight.

He saw their angry faces

So he headed for the door.

I shouted out, “Sir, can you tell me

What you have that tattoo for?”

He looked deep into my eyes

As he sat in our church pew;

He said, “Young lady, that is one story

I’d be more than happy to tell you!”

“You see, when I was young like you

That devil held me in his hand.

You cannot even imagine

The rotten schemes that I had planned!

Then in a dream I saw an angel

That cried a river full of tears.

And he spoke of all the evil

I had done for all those years.

Then that angel said, ‘REPENT!

The Lord will take away your sin!

Now go undo the wrongs you’ve done

And begin your life again!’

So now I travel town to town

To tell people of God’s grace.

And today I heard him tell me

That I must come to this place.

I thought I was mistaken

For at first you seemed so nice…

Would you all be willing to listen

If I gave you some advice?

Beware that sneaky serpent!

He is the father of all lies.

A man should not be judged

By what is seen through your own eyes!

This tattoo of mine reminds me

That the devil’s end is near.

But when judgment time’s upon us

We’ll have nothing we must fear!”

That old man sat so quietly

Then I bowed my head to pray:

“Thanks Lord for sending us this man

And for all we learned this day!”

Kristin Tucker

September 19, 2006

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