Poetry With A Mission

...a thought provoking poetical exercise.

Not So Fast

My dear Christian friend, I admire your missionary zeal,
Your desire to serve abroad, for that need is great and real.
Yes, many are in darkness, and suffering greatly too,
But before you head away, I’ll mention a thing or two.

In my mind, friend, our own backyard is our priority,
Our backyard being, our country, community, friends, family.
Therefore, except for emergencies, shouldn’t we start there,
And where needed, reach out, help out, show compassion, love and care?

Could it be that in our backyard there’s suffering, poverty,
Yes, people in darkness too, who’re equally as needy?
And could such be our neighbours, relations, friends or family,
(Not just the homeless — or that passerby, incidentally)?

Perhaps they can’t afford an operation, or other needs,
Are struggling to pay bills — and worrying, which to ill health leads.
Perhaps they’re lonely, hurting, struggling emotionally,
Or in need of help in general, or spiritually.

That money you’re going to spend travelling abroad, friend,
Might be money you should give them, or money you should lend.
Such may make all the difference, some problems solve or ease,
But not if it’s withheld, friend, due to going overseas.

Parents? Yes, parents who’re aging and struggling need us near,
In fact, it’s our duty as their children to always be there.
They’ve raised us, gone without, and endured hardship, maybe,
So it’s only fair that where they are, we should try to be.

Thus, unless God has CLEARLY called you to go elsewhere, friend,
A life of loving service in your own backyard I’d spend.
Tell me, who’d neglect their own to go running off elsewhere,
For surely that’s back to front, misguided, thoughtless, unfair?

By Lance Landall