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Song Sample: 8. Pastor of a Local UMC


After four years’ worth of minor cuts and bruises
I was mostly safe and sound,
But still the Bishop thought
that he would move me
To another nearby town,
Well, I tell you, when I first started serving God
It never crossed my mind,
What I’d be giving up when I decided
To leave everything behind,
When I signed on to climb aboard
This ship of fools for Christ so I could be
A fisherman for souls
And the pastor of a local UMC.

As I drove the U-Haul down,
I had the thought that this time
Things won’t be as hard,
But I dismissed it when
I saw their smiling faces
As I pulled up in the yard,
And they said,
“Pastor, we’re so glad you’re here
But there are some things you should know,
So your stay here with us can go
As smoothly as we hope that it will go,”
But never even once did I
So much as wonder
What those things might be,
I’d heard that song and dance before
As pastor of a local UMC.

“Your life here in our parsonage,” they said,
“Should be the first thing we discuss…
Since you don’t have to work to make a living
And you’re different from us—
No offense to you, of course, and
We are sure that you will understand
That we are glad to help out just as long as
One deserves a helping hand…”
Then I asked myself, as they talked on
About the ones who get something for free,
How long must I endure this
As the pastor of a local UMC.
And then they said...

“Because we feel you’re lucky to be here
We know you’ll overlook the bugs,”
“Just don’t be drinking kool-aid in the house
Because we know you’ll stain the rugs,”
“Be careful with our furniture,” they said,
“Because we’ve got the best for you…
Our best garage and attic stuff, with dusting,
Could be just as good as new…”
They paused to catch their breath,
But even then
I didn’t speak for I could see,
There was more they planned to share
With the pastor of their local UMC.

“Our white couch in the living room,
We’re obviously very proud of that,
But it’s not to be sat upon—by kids—
And did you say you had a cat?”
“And, please, we ask that you do not remove
That life-sized portrait of the Lord,
Which was painted-by-the-numbers
By the mother of the chairman of the board,”
“Aside from these few very small suggestions
We would hope that you feel free
To make yourself at home here
As the pastor of our local UMC.”

As they all said goodbye
And left me there alone
I just looked up and sighed,
“Well, Lord, you sure you still think
It was for these kind of people that you died?”
And I thought I heard him say,
“Jim, don’t be silly,
You know good and well I do—
And sometimes I think you forget
That it’s not always easy loving you.”
And I said, “I’m just kidding, Lord,
And you know that I know how it can be,
After all, look who you call to be
The pastor of a local UMC.

©2017 Jim Radford. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication prohibited.

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©2013 Jim Radford. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication prohibited.