Every Saint Has a Past
We never knew why he was called “Rock”
Maybe it was fittin', his being so strong
And I don’t mean just with muscle cuz
We never had seen him do any wrong
When it came to bein' kind and right
You'd say he was just the utmost
Bein’ the Ramrod and top hand
You mighta’ expected him to boast
Fact is he never spoke of himself
Nor would he take a man’s pride and trample
Rarely gave much in the way of orders
But led all us hands by example
He was always there to lend a hand
Whenever someone was in need
Never got riled, speakin' mostly in a whisper
We figured he was a saint indeed
One spring out at late gatherin’
We were sittin’ round the fire a jawin’
When Rusty decides to ask the Rock
Why he’s always so straight walkin’
“You never speak rough about the ladies”,
He said, “You never even cuss.
Why are you so dang perfect?
Go ahead, it’ll stay right here ‘tween us”.
Ol’ Rock was silent for a time.
Seems he was tryin’ to figure what to say.
He raised his head, lookin' us in the eye,
“Far from perfect Rusty, I’ve got feet of clay.”
"Y’all might not deeply grasp", he sighed
"All what I’m gonna share now.
But I know you boys have long wondered
So I’ll try to explain my past somehow."
"See, I once chased the skirts ever’ night.
I lived only for the pleasure of me.
I was mostly angry and yellin’.
My life was one big sinful spree."
"I was grossly irresponsible
Blamin’ others for my every fault.
I kept my heart locked deep inside
Tighter than a Fort Knox vault."
"Nobody wanted to be around me.
I always saddled all that on them.
You boys wouldn’t'a wanted to know me.
I was a short fuse to criticize and condemn."
"I couldn’t keep a job for very long,
Always huntin’ a place to sleep.
I asked one boss who fired me, 'Why?”
She said, “You’ve sown, now you reap.”
"I didn’t much like or understand that
So I asked her for five minutes to explain."
She said, “Okay. 'Spose every sinner has a future
I guess this might not be in vain.”
"Don’t much matter what it is", she claimed,
"You get back what you give out.
If you plant only rotten seeds
Why expect anything good to sprout?"
"Each of us has a choice in life
We can choose how to view and respond.
Your simple show of courtesy
Will kindness from others spawn."
"If you'd just get past all your anger,
Take that chip off'n your shoulder,
You’d soon get surrounded by friends
And be at peace as you grow older."
"What she did next was a shocker.
She up and gave me her Holy Bible.
I told her I had no stinkin’ use for it.
For readin’ it I weren’t gonna be liable."
"But, days later, at the end of my rope,
Admittin' my own ways'd sorely failed,
Livin' under a rock, readin' that book,
How to do life began to be unveiled."
"No Sir, it didn't happen overnight
But I went back askin' questions of that boss.
Slowly, over time, I come round to it,
Tyin' down understandin' of the cross"
"Well that’s the abridged, short story of how
I'm comin' to be a more tolerable man.
God gave us our instruction book boys.
Every day, I just humbly try to work the plan"
By, Rik Goodell