When I’m no longer here,
Will the Lord you still fear?
When I am dead and gone,
Will “Jesus” be your song?
When I no longer stand before you,
Will you be one of the faithful few?
When you no longer can hear my voice,
Will the Messiah still be your choice?
When I leave,
Will you grieve
But find sweet, peaceful rest,
Leaning on Jesus’ chest?
Or will you wonder why,
Shake your fist at the sky,
Demand to understand,
Refuse to trust His plan?
When I leave you someday,
Will your feet go astray?
When I (gladly) go home,
Will your heart turn to stone?
When I leave behind earth forever,
Will your relationship be severed?
When my body is food for the worms,
Will your faith no longer stand so firm?
The choice is
Yours, not His.
He won’t make you believe,
Won’t force you to receive
His joy, His peace, His love,
Salvation from above.
So now what you say?
You must “choose ye this day.”
~Julie Hochstetler, January 2020
One of the pastors at church once asked, “When I’m no longer here, will you still fear the Lord?” or something like that. My brain, of course, had to come up with this poem. I couldn’t come up with a last stanza though, and so this poem sat unfinished for quite awhile. Finally got it done last month!
Anyway, I realize it’s kind of just asking the same thing over and over, but it’s a really important question. When our pastor or husband or father or youth group leader or whatever spiritual mentor you have (or perhaps just a friend) dies, are we going to keep following God? Are we going to remain faithful, grow even closer to God in our pain, worship Him? Or are we going to turn away, get mad at Him, give up, lose our fire?
And I really like what I came up with for the last stanza. (Is that bragging? If so, sorry; I’m not trying to be proud.) It’s not God’s choice if we serve Him or not; He’s not going to force us. The choice is up to us.