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Saturday, Sep. 20, 2014

The Box

Posted Friday, November 16, 2012, at 1:58 PM

I wanted to do something in this space to honor of the veterans or our armed services. Last week I published a song I wrote titled "Where Are You Going, Daddy?" I hope you enjoyed it.

This week, I decided to share another poem. It was written by either Kendrew Lascelles or Lascelles Abercrombie, both of whom are credited with authorship of the piece on the Internet. Recorded by John Denver in 1971, it remains a classic anti-war poem that evokes all manner of emotion in those who hear it or read it.

I would like to point out, however, that though this piece is blatantly anti-war, it is not meant to minimize what was done for us by those who left their homes and went off to defend our nation on foreign soil, or right here at home for that matter.

No, I share it as a reminder that although soldiers should be respected and honored for what they have done and what they continue to do, I wish there were not such a great demand for their services. May God bless each and every one of you.

The Box

Once upon a time, in the land of hush-a-bye, around about the wondrous days of yore, they came across a kind of box, bound up with chains and locked with locks and labeled "Kindly do not touch it's war." 
A decree was issued round about, and all with a flourish and a shout and a gaily-colored mascot tripping lightly on before.

"Don't fiddle with this deadly box, or break the chains, or pick the locks. And please don't ever play about with war."

Well, the children understood. Children happen to be good, and they were just as good around the time of yore. They didn't try to pick the locks or break into that deadly box. They never tried to play about with war. Mommies didn't either, sisters, aunts, grannies neither. They were quiet, and sweet, and pretty in those wondrous days of yore. Well, very much the same as now, not the ones to blame somehow for opening up that deadly box of war. 
But someone did. Someone battered in the lid, and spilled the insides out across the floor. A sort of bouncy, bumpy ball made up of guns and flags and all the tears, and horror, and death that comes with war. It bounced right out and went bashing all about, bumping into everything in store. And what was sad, and most unfair, was that it didn't really seem to care much who it bumped, or why, or what, or for. 
It bumped the children mainly. And I'll tell you this quite plainly, it bumps them every day and more, and more, and leaves them dead, and burned, and dying, thousands of them sick and crying. Cause when it bumps, it's really very sore. 
Now there's a way to stop the ball. It isn't difficult at all. All it takes is wisdom, and I'm absolutely sure that we can get it back into the box, and bind the chains, and lock the locks. But no one seems to want to save the children anymore. 
Well, that's the way it all appears, cause it's been bouncing round for years and years. In spite of all the wisdom wiz since those wondrous days of yore and the time they came across the box, bound up with chains and locked with locks, and labeled "Kindly do not touch, it's war."

My solemn prayer is that we may see lasting peace in our lifetime.


Comments
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That is a great old story Shep. Thank you for your timely revival of it.

If my memory serves me I think someone (probably Nana Dot) put it on the singular Speak Out blog several years ago.

You are a good man Preacher Man. :)

-- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Nov 17, 2012, at 12:03 AM

Guess I didn't remember seeing it.

Hope no one minded the reprise.

It's a good piece - and just as important now as it was then.

Thanks, OKR, for being a faithful reader.

Shep

-- Posted by shep on Mon, Nov 19, 2012, at 7:55 AM


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Bob Stewart is pastor of Union Baptist Church. His long-running column ranges in topic from matters of faith to observations about life in Saline County, politics and the sights to see in travels throughout America.
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