Sunday, May 16, 2010

One Single Impression: Trembling

Brother Ray—Tribute to a Trembling Man

He was trembling when I first discovered him.
It was at church one Sunday, a church new to us.
The preacher asked him to say the final prayer of the morning.
That man prayed and prayed
but I could not understand a word he was saying.
He was trembling so badly.

As the months went on by I became used to this man,
Brother Ray, praying there in church;
his prayers so many could not understand.
It seemed however that quite a few
could understand this thin man of God.
Only thing was I could not,
he was trembling so badly.

I took it on myself to know this fellow.
He was in his early eighty's
with a severe case of Parkinson's disease.
On Monday nights you would find him at church visitation;
visiting every new prospect and member, as he would say.
To those homes he would go, trembling so badly.

At about age eighty-seven or so
his visiting partner and driver for sure retired
and moved away to Louisiana.
Those Monday nights now we sorely missed our Brother Ray.
Seems not one soul would step forward to help.
Were they afraid of his trembling so badly?

I felt sorry for Brother Ray so on one Tuesday afternoon
I stopped at his house to visit with him.
It wasn't planned but the words came out of my mouth,
"Brother Ray, I could take you church visiting
with me on Monday nights. Would you go?"
"Oh, y y yes s !" he said trembling so badly.

We visited together for the next ten years.
He taught me how to pray.
He taught me how to love the Lord so much more strongly.
He taught me how to tell others of what a gracious Lord we have.
And lo, I became able to understand every word he said,
even though he was trembling so badly.

Now every year Brother Ray would go hunting with his son.
Brother Ray would always shoot a deer—
no one knew how he did that, he was trembling so badly.
He told me of his family and of his wife long deceased.
He missed her so badly; I'm thinking how she could
have understood his every word
while he was trembling so badly.

At age ninety-seven he fell and broke his hip.
He recovered but couldn't get out to visit any longer.
Soon he moved into a nursing home.
All the residents and staff loved him dearly.
Some there could understand his speech even
as he was trembling so badly.

The last time I visited him was in the funeral home.
Brother Ray had died at age ninety-nine.
He always talked of reaching a hundred.
Now he talks with God there up in Heaven.
I know them both and do know that
God understands his every word.
I think my Brother Ray still trembles so badly.

God has made him whole once again but even so,
out of habit now, he may be trembling still, so badly.

Poem Copyright
© 2010 Jimmiehov
All Rights Reserved

Prompt suggested by Nancy Bea Miller at Genre Cookshop

Find more poems at One Single Impression using "Trembling" as prompt

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At Sunday, May 16, 2010 2:55:00 AM, Blogger anthonynorth said...

That was beautiful, and the repetition worked well.

At Sunday, May 16, 2010 6:39:00 AM, Blogger gautami tripathy said...

I was totally engrossed!

recipe of love brews well

At Sunday, May 16, 2010 6:43:00 AM, Blogger SandyCarlson said...

A wonderful, inspirational narrative poem, Jim. You remind me what's possible.

At Sunday, May 16, 2010 11:46:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I love it..what a great tribute...
a beautiful and uplifting story...
thank you!

At Sunday, May 16, 2010 7:58:00 PM, Blogger Tumblewords: said...

An inspirational tribute and reminder to each. Nice, Jim!

At Sunday, May 16, 2010 11:25:00 PM, Blogger Amity said...

A li'l sad, but I love your story...poor Ray, but he managed to help you out in your visitations, he is really God's wonderful son, in spite of his tremblings....

Now in God's loving arms, you are right, God can only truly understand every single word he would utter for he is God's faithful son!

Thanks for the beautiful poem Jim, a wonderful testimony of being a faithful child of God!

He lived a fruitful life in spite of his tremblings!

At Monday, May 17, 2010 12:45:00 AM, Anonymous Dances With Loons said...

Jim, oh what a poignant story you weave for us here, thank you for this tribute to a bright, beautiful soul!

At Monday, May 17, 2010 3:57:00 AM, Blogger Vinay Leo R. said...

this was like a ballad, Jim.. :) lovely piece and the repetition was beautiful.

At Monday, May 17, 2010 5:38:00 PM, Blogger Patti said...

Wow Jim- what a story...totally loved that interpretation. I know a few older people with Parkinson's and it's just such a hard disease- you really treated it with great respect.

At Monday, May 17, 2010 6:01:00 PM, Blogger Kathie Brown said...

Very tender portrait of what sounds like a wonderful man who taught you so many lessons about love and life.!

At Monday, May 17, 2010 10:47:00 PM, Anonymous The Dark Lord said...

AWESOME it sure is great to be back visiting your blog after the brief gap. That was a beautiful, poignant narration that tugs at ones heart. I totally loved the way it progressed, you really couldn't have bettered upon it. Bravo!

At Tuesday, May 18, 2010 3:57:00 PM, Anonymous one more believer said...

i love this trembling godly man....

At Wednesday, May 19, 2010 1:54:00 AM, Anonymous Geeta said...

It was inspiring, Jim...Beautifully written


At Wednesday, May 19, 2010 9:53:00 AM, Blogger Cassiopeia Rises said...

Oh Jim my friend. This is so moving. For sure you and he know the lord. God bless him and you for writing about this person of love.
Wonderful my friend.


At Wednesday, May 19, 2010 3:40:00 PM, Blogger Tammie Lee said...

You had me taking in each word through my heart. Thank you for this wonderful poem and I take it, real experience.

At Thursday, May 20, 2010 3:32:00 PM, Blogger Sandra.if said...

that human...beautiful words and testimony...thanks Jim!

At Tuesday, May 25, 2010 6:44:00 AM, Anonymous Gel said...

Oh Jim,

This is a lovely tribute and so inspirational.I've had a close friend who has early onset Parkinson's. That trembling is known as dyskinesia.


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