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!”
September 19, 2006