Lots of people have commented to me on how moving they found the poem which Stuart Bryan read after the minutes silence in each of our morning meetings on Sunday (Lee Simmonds read it in the evening). Stuart not only read the poem but also wrote it. It's such a beautiful piece of writing that I thought I'd reproduce it here so that we can all appreciate it.
If you don't know Stuart he's an outstanding guy in our community, in his early twenties and currently working in Edinburgh as a Parliamentary Researcher for a Member of the Scotish Parliament. We can be very proud of him :)
ps - Just for the record we can be very proud of Lee too!
No moment lasts forever but it has its right to weep
So stretch this moment out across the shores to distant lands,
A place of foreign motives and a place of darker times
Drawing in all heroes to surrender up their lives:
Our daily battles pale against their greater sacrifice.
18 and enlisted, He hadn’t left home before.
Never heard another accent and, truth be told, he’d never kissed a girl.
Just a child this last Friday - he’d spent the day in school
Waiting anxiously for freedom that was signalled by the bell.
But a week has brought transition and he now finds himself a man
That freedom seems less joyous, weighing heavy in his hands
The school bell but a memory kept in store for what’s to come
Tucks it deep inside his satchel next to a sandwich from his mum.
Her face though faintly hopeful couldn’t mask her fearful eyes
Searching past the green-grass uniform, past the soldier for her child
His story camouflages with those to his left and right
One amidst the hoard of strangers whom he’ll defend with his life
A father of late thirties claps a hand onto his back –
He sees his own son in him - says he’ll see him safely back
Onwards they march together, this new father and this son,
This family of martyrs united by their country's cause
Their actions now dictated by a higher will and force
The price of hope and freedom that they know might cost their all
For this they’ll risk the thunder, they’ll risk that hate-torn land
Their minds to griefs unspoken, things you and I can't comprehend
For this they join together, their differences cast aside
For this we are indebted and we rightly lift them high
These heroes we remember in our prayers and in our thoughts
Their lives are duly honoured and this moment, we stretch on.
But there was one who had no brother
No comrade with him in arms
Rejected by his people, by his friends he was denied.
They scorned his march to battle, on his back a ton of wood
Stripped of dignity and clothing for reasons no one understood.
Alone he faced the terror of a war with sin and death
Which cost more than his body as it stole his final breath
In submission he surrendered, losing everything he was
His sonship and holiness, and his righteousness with God
He asked his Heavenly Father “can’t you take this task from me"
Sweating blood in desperation as he prayed out earnestly.
But he knew the weight of freedom, knew the worth of sacrifice
Knew the criss-cross battle scars on his hands and skin sufficed
Though he cast a lonely figure, he was faithful to that cost
The soldier of humility, our Salvation on a cross.