I wrote this for Sarah Buteux, the pastor of the church I've been attending who is being called by God to a new ministry, a new way of being and doing church, something both exciting and a bit scary. If you've ever had a pastor you love leave for another ministry, or if you, yourself, have left and had deeply mixed feelings about leaving behind the people you loved, this poem could be for you, too.
I always have known how courageous you are;
When preaching and leading, you shine like the star
Which stopped o'er the house where the baby was born,
Attracting from east and west, wise and forlorn,
The people who glimpsed such unfath'mable love!
Thus, pointing the way that the heavens above,
Incarnate become in this day and this age,
You show us that faith is not just on a page,
But speaks to the hearts of the people of God;
(And hearing the truth, it might then make us odd!)
It's funny how Jesus, who taught, fed and healed,
Just couldn't stay put; and in leaving, revealed,
That people all over the map need to hear
The news that, by God! - and in God! - they are dear!
So also, I say, if some days you're perplexed,
You're never forsaken no matter what's next;
I'll always give thanks you're a woman so brave,
Who makes the world smile when she shows how Christ saves.
Scott L. Barton