Yesterday I was looking at some old books in our big bookshelf, and I came upon some old music scores like Handel's Messiah, and other great works. The name scrawled accross the top was that of R. V. B**** (B**** representing the last name and being my Mother's maiden name). Wow! I knew the initials were not those of my grandfather, and after checking, I found out that these scores belonged to my Great Grandfather: the father of my mother's father!
See, not much is said about that side of the family, and really all that we know about this man is that he longed to be an artist; a poet, and never got that chance. He raised his children (including my grandfather) during the depression, and poets didn't exactly earn much pay. :) So unfortunately, all that is ever said is derogatory, for he didn't properly provide for his family. This pains me so, because I feel those artistic yearnings in my music, and I know that if I was to provide for a family and couldn't do so with the gift God has given me, it would be very, very hard. So though I understand that he hurt his family, and neglected to properly earn the money to support them, I also understand his pain. In any case, I opened up one score, less worn than the rest, and found a small newspaper clipping. It was a poem, by the man who always wanted to be published and really find a place in the world of poetry. Probably a local paper, nothing more, but signed with the initials: R. V. B. God bless him! Here it is:
Come, Ye Blessed
"Come, ye blessed of my Father,
Behold, the time is far spent,
The Kingdom is at hand,
Come ye now to inherit
That which is prepared for you."
The season of great joy is here,
When down the ages men may hear
A simple tale of Love fore-spent
From out God's hart omnipotent;
Of birth, and life, and sacrifice,
The cure of erring sin and vice.
The time had come adown the years
When God, "the just and awful Judge,"
Should stand revealed, no more to fear;
A loving Father of His sons,
Who gave His own Beloved One
That we, His brethren, might enjoy
Our Father's love and competence;
Though, gaining which, we must seek out
And 'stablish faith the firm decree--
"Lo! First and formost must ye seek
God's Heavenly Kingdom in your hearts."
The Christ of God dwells there, within;
No more shall fear make hatred strong,
So shall come Peace, good-will to men.
Who, willing, hurts his brother, kin?
Love casts out greed and selfishness,
Fear walks not where love holds the hand,
And hearts are filled with happy songs,
Not a mere wailing threnody,
But that which stirs the feet alon.
Let dawn the day when all shall sing
Together, all the sons of heaven,
In joyful chorus carolling,
Our hearts and minds and souls are full,
Filled with the Glory of the Lord,
"For God is the Kingdom
The Power, and the Glory,
For ever:--Ad Infinitum."
--R. V. B., Ontario
After reading that I realized that although all the comments on this man have been derogatory, I'll see him in heaven. So I wrote a response poem:
A Heritage, God's left to us,
To treasure, and with these gifts we must,
Remember those who went before,
With love, so many burdens bore.
They had gifts and talents too,
A poet, he never got what's due,
But strove to fill the artist's shoes,
and sadly, over home did choose.
With fond regrets, remember them,
Our family, in dreams, we call them kin,
Share with them thoughts and all our hopes,
To see, we share their blood it shows.
And now we know from what they've said,
Their faces, we'll see beyond, ahead.
With God's help treasure them in our hearts,
But now my journey, it just starts!
--Sheila *****, British Columbia
Wow!!! Thanks for reading!