In a country church in '49,
a young girl knelt to pray.
She wanted God to save her soul,
but knew not what to say.

The preacher, wise and sent by God,
inside his pocket felt
and gave to her a shiny coin,
then beside the girl he knelt.

"God's love is like that coin," he said,
"it's free and yours to keep.
Confess your sins; He will forgive,
then you'll become His sheep.

"God sent His son to die for you,
you've only to accept;
His blood will wash away your sins,"
and the young girl wept.

Forgive my sins, dear Lord, I prayed,
I want to live Your way,
and softly, at the noontide,
God saved my soul that day.

Today I visit once again
this childhood church of mine.
I come alone to reminisce
about a gentler time.

The church itself's almost the same,
with minor changes seen --
new curtains on the windows,
instead of blue they're green.

New hymnals decorate the racks;
there's carpet on the floor,
and modern times necessitate
the lock upon the door.

The wooden pews are still in place;
attendance record's on display,
with stars beside the country kids
who haven't missed a day.

I read the names through misty eyes
as I go back in time
to see my mom's and daddy's names
and view the stars by mine.

Then suddenly I hear the hymns
we sang away back then,
about the Christ, the Son of God
who takes away our sin.

And from the pulpit I can hear
the preacher, with a smile,
invite us sinners, one and all,
to walk that country aisle.

Before I left my country church
I knelt again in prayer,
just like I did in '49
when Mom and Dad were there.

Dear Lord, I said, forgive my sins,
for often I have strayed;
I left Your side so many times,
but Lord, You always stayed.

You never turned Your back on me;
Lord, this I truly know,
not since the day You came to me
o'er forty years ago.

Now I just want to thank You, God,
for saving me that day,
so softly, at the noontide,
when You washed my sins away.

~Copyright 1996 Ruth Gillis~

"Friendship Church Revisited 1996" received
a Second Place Award in the
June 1996 issue of The Inspirational Poet.

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