A weary man came walking, his heavy pace was slow.
He said not where he came from or where he aimed to go.
Along the road I heard him, singing as he went,
A ballad song of memories and life that had been spent.
He sang of many hardships he weathered in his youth,
And battles that had challenged his seeking of the truth.
He sang of lessons taught him, of sadness and of cheer;
He sang of his adventures on the road that brought him here.
But the roughness of his marching shown not upon his face,
‘Though he’d been through lands as rough as there are anyplace.
He stopped to speak his message; his voice rang clear and strong.
His gentleness and youthful look belied his journey’s song.
For when he drew up closer, I saw his honest eyes;
They showed the pain of learning and I knew him to be wise.
He sat beneath a shade tree, his many tales to tell,
And told me of his battles with the foe who never fell.
His Enemy would taunt him and counter his attack,
And fast as he was thinking, he’d threaten at his back.
And each time danger found him, if he would fight again,
New strength he found to help him — but still he did not win.
For each new strength discovered, his Enemy found two,
And gloated with a secret that the poor man never knew.
But the Man must seek to finish what the Boy had just begun,
So they battled to a stand off, and neither lost nor won.
But on he went believing he’d win eventually —
Meeting each new challenge of the Enemy —
Until the day I saw him, still on his weary way,
His honest eyes were steady as he looked at me to say:
“You are the one you fear the most, of all your mortal fears;
Beyond yourself lies Victory that’s worth all human tears.”
He turned and started walking, and left that meeting place…
The Truth he spoke is Living; I saw it in his face.
ⓒ Michael D. Day
June 20, 1972