Fate was my captor and held me prisoner;
it accepted no excuse and would hear no plea,
the Good Book said if you hope to break its shackles -
Faith will set you free.
But before I could accept the Lord,
I must hear His word and touch His face,
a sinner, cynic, a product of the street,
I left and journeyed from place to place.
I crossed vast oceans and scaled great mountains,
in search of the so-called King of Kings,
I spoke with the inhabitants of ancient lands
of this and many things.
But none could help, and most would say,
“You’re foolish, come in from the rain,
the Lord is spirit, not flesh and blood,
your search will be in vain.”
Alone, dejected, I knew not where to turn,
and decided no longer would I roam,
that it was all wishful thinking and a waste of time,
and so finally I turned for home.
One bright sunny day, I stood before a cathedral,
great clouds surrounded its towering spire,
and I thought perhaps this a sign from the Lord,
although foolish it may sound, so strong was my desire.
I raised my arms and looked up toward heaven,
and called out, "Give me a sign, hear my plea."
People passed by and shook their heads,
but no one answered me.
I was stricken with grief, and wondered,
"Was I destined to live in turmoil and strife,
a victim of temptation and the power of fate,
was this to be my lot in life?"
Then one day I came upon this storied old church,
it seemed to beckon me enter and pray,
but suddenly a stranger all weathered and bent,
stood and barred my way.
His face was scarred, and his eyes,
had seen the very worst of time,
in a desperate and pleading voice, he begged,
“Brother, can you spare a dime?"
I was angry and disturbed at the intrusion,
said "No," and brushed aside his plea,
but as I neared the church, an old priest appeared, and said, “Where’s your compassion and charity,"
and remember His words “What you do unto others that you do unto Me."
He said, “The hypocrites pray, and shout halleluiah,
and profess how much they believe,
and on bended knee they say their prayers,
but then in life practice to deceive."
He said, “You are held to account for the life you lead,
and must atone for your sins and those you offend,
without compassion and love,
faith alone will do you no good in the end”.
“And faith is not something you can see, hear or touch,
it is spiritual and comes with a bill,
and payment is not in material things,
but sacrifice and trust, and acceptance of God’s will."
He said, “Faith demands service toward others,
yours must be of good heart and sincere,
and know God is in the poor soul you shunned,
or you will not find God in here.”
I said "Father, I’m lost and seek forgiveness and peace,
and thought in faith would avoid damnation,
my flesh is weak and my spirit weaker,
please help me to find salvation."
I asked "Father, please, will I ever find faith,
hear God’s word and touch His face,"
The old priest smiled, placed his hand on my shoulder, and said,
“First open your heart, and receive His grace."
He said “When you enter His house, get down on your knees,
and confess your transgressions and sins,
the Lord will hear and grant you forgiveness,
that’s where your journey begins."
He opened the door and then spoke these last words,
“Life can be cruel and can break you, and in its wake, leave shattered hearts,
but pray and persevere, and the Lord will hear,
and one day you’ll be stronger in the broken parts."