The Old Church


The hush of early evening with daylight dimmed to dusk,
And orange curtains fading out the day,
Brought welcome peace and quiet on an unmade country road;
The busyness of life seemed far away.

And then into that reverie with bush and nature's realm
An unexpected form came into sight.
An old, abandoned building, showing signs of long disuse,
Stood stark against the bush in fading light.

The simple architecture had identified its type.
It once had been a locals' gathering place
Where weekly, on each Sunday there, a faithful preacher man
Might share the truth of God's amazing grace.

And at the side, a graveyard set, now mostly overgrown,
Neglected and uncared for years and years
The headstones' names and dates were dim with time and weather's wear.
Were these the district's early pioneers?

And some had died so young there, and the question's asked, "But why?"
And parents would have shed their tears like rain.
The preacher man, with sympathy, might offer some support,
"They've now been spared from this world's grief and pain."

But now they're all forgotten, generations since have passed;
There's no one now remembers even one
Of that small congregation who so faithfully had met;
But now its meeting days are long since done.

The old church stands there empty now, a roosting place for birds,
With weathered, paintless boards, and windows gone.
And maybe there's a final sermon preached from that old place:
A picture to recall as life goes on.

For nature is the work of God, the building that of man,
This building and the bush make that quite plain
A stark example of the work of man, now in decay.
The living work of God: it shall remain.

© Tom Chapman 2007