A few of my parents’ friends kept scanners

in their homes. Sleek black boxes on a shelf

with a row of red lights chasing one another.

While my parents and their friends visited,

I’d sit and watch the lights, a slow-town boy

itching for something sensational to halt them.

An eighteen-wheeler lost its load, cattle are

scattered from hell to breakfast on the bypass.

The grieving widower shot himself in the barn—

in such a case as that I would see my father rise,

excuse himself, and go. Always go. Someone

has to be the face of Christ in the wreckage, son.

Someone has to wear God’s hat. Always go.


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  1. D on August 10, 2021 at 7:28 am

    And I receive this just when I’m trying to decide if I should “go” again. One crisis nearly in a stable place and the next emergency surfaces.
    Always go……I shall.

  2. Kay Hanevik on August 10, 2021 at 7:54 am

    Welcome back John. It has been awhile. You have been missed. Yes, as your loving g dad said someone has to be the face of Christ in this world and you are just that to many of your followers. You are called to write. Write words of love, peace, challenge, Hope and promise.

  3. judy burke on August 10, 2021 at 8:57 am

    John, yes it is some time to many of us yet we realize all you are having to adjust and do for your precious family and at the same time answer the call in your heart as your Dad did. My prayer is that God opens the door to his land that all of you are meant to be living in. And that your MOM, the Rose takes time out to see an ortho. I also would hope and pray that Dierks keeps on file your Dad’s messages as I for one go back and listen to the date previous to the current message. Oh his way of getting God’s point to the fore front! God bless you all and keep you as this ugly creature rears its head again. There has to be some dark hours as there are for all who grieve but try in the next breathe to remember the Rapture and how long how long one day we will be together again for FOREVER. BLESSINGS

  4. Sheridan Voysey on August 10, 2021 at 9:24 am


  5. Butch Riddle on August 10, 2021 at 9:42 am

    And your dad did go…as have you and I. We are His hands and feet…

  6. Angela Garrett on August 10, 2021 at 10:19 am

    Hi John. Good to read a post from you. I love the description of “cattle are scattered from hell to breakfast on the bypass”.

  7. Diana Trautwein on August 10, 2021 at 10:27 am

    Lovely. Good. True. One of the deepest issues of pain and regret in this hard season has been the terrible limits on ‘going:!’ no visitors allowed, my own age and health, etc., etc. So phone calls, texts, email, snail mail – these are how I can ‘go’ during these hard days. Feels pitifully inadequate. And yet … somehow, Spirit shows up. Praying for you today, for more rich memories like these. Thank you for writing this one out.

  8. Lynda Smith on August 10, 2021 at 11:15 am

    Welcome back. I’ve missed you!

  9. Marilyn Yocum on August 11, 2021 at 8:42 am

    Saving this. And thank you for it.

  10. Michele Morin on August 11, 2021 at 5:52 pm

    What a heritage.

  11. nancymariedavis on August 12, 2021 at 9:15 pm

    I wan to say something. It leaves me
    in a place of contemplation. Stuck in
    feelings and liking it there.

  12. Judy on October 28, 2021 at 5:58 pm

    Just came across your site through Our Daily Bread. I read your latest poem, I Believe, then this poem. I don’t know why I cried, but cry I did. I thank God for the different gifts to humanity.

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