You, and You Alone
For M.E. Clary
Alone in her office, or so it’s been said,
Cindy-Lou Clary sat quietly and read.
Of snow-storms and hail-storms, floods and tornados
Of wild-fires and hurricanes from Napa to Barbados.
Of protests and riots both at home and abroad,
Of chemicals and missiles where the Apostles once trod;
Of shootings at concerts, schools, churches and work-places,
Of the horror of violence, and at the vigils – so many faces;
Of train-wrecks and car-wrecks and planes losing engines
"What shall I do," thought Cindy-Lou, "oh where to begin?"
Indeed it is to weep, thought Cindy-Lou sadly,
How did we get here, and why have things gone so badly?
When all of a sudden, with a swoosh and a bam;
There came floating down to her desk, a shiny little man.
His gray hair was combed smartly, his suit had no wrinkles;
Wrong time of year thought Cindy-Lou – this can’t be Kris Kringle…
"Fear not said the man, Kris Kringle is at home;
I am not the tooth fairy or some misplaced garden gnome.
Nor am I a ghost of past, present or future,
I am the Angel Theodor, and wounded souls are what I suture."
"Of all the angels I am truly unique
For I only speak in rhyme, and all I ask is that you think.
I excel at my job, so sit back and relax.
Let’s untangle your mind and look at the facts."
"Is there evil in the world? Yes sadly, ‘tis true;
And bad things will happen no matter what you do.
Mean people will rant, and bullies will yell
And work hard to capture you under their spell."
"Accidents will happen, and people will die.
Nature’s ways will confound and leave you angry, asking why?
No shortage shall exist of war, sickness, or hunger
And your heart will cry out: Oh Lord – How Much Longer?"
"Alright!" cried Cindy Lou, "I get it, I’ve had enough!"
"I’m sorry, dear angel, if that sounded a bit gruff.
Please tell me how to fix things. Please tell me where to start.
How can I make a difference? How can I do my part?"
The angel sat down and smiled at Cindy-Lou,
"Fix things indeed – you don’t even need glue.
You won’t need your keys, or laptop or phone
What you need is you. Just you, you alone."
"Now we’re to the good part'" said the angel with a wink,
"Remember what I said? All you need to do is think?
But first we must let go of that most troublesome word
The worst word you’ve ever heard, the word I view most absurd."
"For why causes people to tie their minds into knots.
Round and round they’ll go, like sad little robots.
You must let go of the why and focus on the what
If you want to make a difference and give it all you’ve got."
"For what leads to action while why leads to reason
And not even the Preacher could give why a season."
"What it is!" said Cindy-Lou with a nod and a smirk,
"So let’s get started! Let’s all get to work!"
"Well done indeed," said the angel with a grin,
"But there’s just one more thing before we begin.
Your mind is untangled, you're just about ready.
Now for the last; the one thing to keep you steady."
"My heart?" asked Cindy-Lou, "that’s not what I expected."
"How can one focus on the what, and keep their heart and mind connected?"
"How indeed," said the angel, "but it’s the most critical part.
You must think at the same time with both your mind and your heart."
"That’s impossible," said Cindy-Lou, all grumpy and deflated,
"And just look at how much time you and I have now wasted."
"Stop," said the angel. "Just stop and look.
Look over your shoulder, on that shelf, in that book."
"Somewhere towards the middle, and from a most ancient race,
There resides the solution to the problem you face.
For your heart and your mind will work their best together
And keep you calm through the stormiest of weather, if you will:
Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.
"Is that it? Those three things? That’s all it takes?
What happens when I fail? Or when I make a mistake?"
"Mistakes and failures are bound to happen.
You’ll have to stay calm and learn to laugh at them.
But fear not my dear friend for this much is true.
And as I leave you this day, I’ll pass on this last clue."
"Our God is a mighty fortress, his son makes all things new.
And the Spirit will come when you are the deepest shade of blue
To remind you of your gifts and to nudge you along
Through the terrors and tragedies – it will even give you a song."
"A song to remind you to put a smile on your face.
A song of great hope and Amazing Grace."
"So farewell Cindy-Lou, you’ve got what you need.
To serve and to sing, to clothe and to feed."
"Just a minute, kind angel, I’d really like to know.
Was it on earth or in heaven that you learned to sew?
For your words are familiar, and your manner most kind.
And now you’ve got me hooked on speaking in rhyme."
"My real name," said the angel, "was never well known."
"But my books are read by children even after they’re grown.
Enough of all that, my times is up, and yours is too.
Cindy-Lou Clary you have more important things to do."
With a calm gentle breeze the man began to fade away.
And as Cindy-Lou watched him leave she thought she heard him say,
"Farewell Cindy-Lou, put your gifts to good use
And if you must know, while on earth I was a doctor named Seuss."
May 27, 2018
Frank has been a NorthPark Presbyterian Church leader and member since 1998. Midwestern by birth, he currently resides in Ruston, Louisiana, with his family of five with their dog, Gumbo.