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A Man Of God
Author: Shiloh

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he was a man of god
and he was the first I trusted
in a long time

years before
I was turned against, by a man of god
and i found out then just how hollow
and plastic
a man of god can be
when it suits his purpose
and is to his advantage

that was over forty years ago

about a dozen years or so ago
I met another man of god
and I liked the kind of person he was
and the way he did his job

I joined the church
where he stood in the pulpit every Sunday
and I was comfortable there
because he was the kind of man of god
that you could feel comfortable with

he was not plastic
he was real
he was someone I could talk with
and I liked that

so I began going to church again

one day this man of god
stood up in front of everyone
and said he was leaving
because he had sinned

he had broken his marriage vows
and had given in to temptation
and had been much too human
for the job he held
and he felt he could no longer be
the man of god that stood in the pulpit
of the church that I had come to consider mine

he left without anyone trying to stop him
without anyone offering any sympathy
and without anyone understanding
that he was after all only human
and had made a human mistake

he would not allow himself the excuse
that he was only human
and none of the church elders
offered a smile or a helping hand
literally or figuratively
and we all watched him walk away from us
because he would not accept anything less from himself
than to resign from the job he did so well

as the spiritual leader of the church
he had set himself so far above allowing himself to be a human
that it shattered his vision of himself
when he had to admit his failures

so he left and no one protested
and no one understood
we were the losers in this game of pride

the flock lost the best shepherd they had seen in ages
and vanity and anger and puritanical inanity
among the elders and the flock
blocked reason and common sense

different men tried to stand in the pulpit in his place
and the church elders interviewed and held trials
and heard sermons and held meetings and finally
put it to a vote
when they found someone they considered to be safe
and not the sort who would cause embarrassment
or a blemish on the name of the church
and a new minister took the pulpit

but it was never the same again
and it never would be
and it was no longer comfortable for me
and I stopped going to church
and I miss the old minister
who was too human to allow himself to make a mistake
or to lead us any more
even though I truly believe that was what he had been born to do

it's been many, many years
and I lost track of him long ago
and he never replied to my letters or cards
and he is out there somewhere
but I wish I could sit down and share a cup of coffee
and share my thoughts and worries with him
as I once did
back when I felt comfortable going to church

vinebar

Comments on this poem/writing:

Bipedalguy (65.96.237.196) -- Wednesday, March 26 2008, 02:51 pm

A thoughtful and beautiful tribute.

That says volumes (to say the least).
I wonder who in that congregation was sinless.
"To err is human, to Forgive, Divine".
The pastor was human. He couldn't forgive himself.
Edna Eaton (70.196.80.212) -- Sunday, December 29 2013, 03:43 am

Unforgiving is wrong

He sounds like a good man. Transgression should have been between him and his wife, nobody else. Sad to lose a good man. My pastor says we are all sin buckets, flock and shepherd alike.
 
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