Friday, July 24, 2015


Who Are You, Boy?

Poem to Missionaries from Russian Convert, circa 2000

Who are you boy? For a boy you are,
Journeyed to this land of ours, 
This land where I've endured my days. 
And felt oppression kill my soul 
And force me into some tight mold. 
And teach me that I should not hope,
Unless I care to smell the smoke of dreams that the Red Army tamed.

Who are you boy? 
From this land of plenty, 
Teaching God, if there is any. 
You have all; we have none. 
Do you know what that feels like, son? 
And yet, you ask me to believe in something that I cannot see; 
Some force you say will bring me joy. 
Do you know what that feels like, boy? 
Where you're from, faith is free, 
But it has a price for me. 
When I have pain, I have my bottle. 
Hurt dies quick when you down it with Vodka. 
That's enough to warm my soul. 
I work, I sleep, the days go by--
I'm waiting for the day I die. 
You don't understand this place. 
You say believe, obey, have faith, 
Live life well, serve and give. 
Here in Russia, we just live.

Who are you, boy? 
Why did you come? 
To save a soul who once was numb. 
To teach a wretched, hateful, man who cursed your help, refused your hand. 
I thought that we were worlds apart. 
So how is it that you knew my heart? 
A fraction my age, you calmed my rage; 
Mercy paid my generous wage. 
I should have been left behind. 
It is hard to love my kind. 
Hope in your heart, power in your hands, 
Why did you come to this distant land? 
I know now, it was for me. 
The Red Curtain fell, but I was not free. 
Until a boy from nations away brought me my Lord. 
I bless the day. He led me to weep at my Master's feet. The American boy I met on the street--
New and naive, still in his teens, with a message to bring the world to its knees. 
I thought that the truth would come from another--I did not know
This boy was my brother.

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