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Family, Discipline, Comfort, Death

 

Woodshed Memories

Today I went to the woodshed
on the farm I used to call home
I sat once more on the dusty old bench
and my thoughts began to roam
Back to the days of yesteryear when,
as a disobedient, willful lad
I used to go quite often
to the woodshed with my Dad.

I took from a nail on the wall of the shed
a dusty old leather belt
And, wincing, remembered the sharp cracking sound
as each stinging blow I felt
I often pondered Dad's statement,
(though now I know it is true)
"Son, this is going to hurt me
as much as it hurts you."

I think of the awful moments
that I squirmed so in that place
And tried to look about
anywhere except into Dad's face
As he towered there above me
and so sternly lectured away
Cutting even deeper than the lashes
were the things that he would say.

But the memories that linger
after others all have flown
Are the times he spent in the shed without me
-- all alone.
One day I peeked through the window
and saw Dad kneeling there
And I cursed as I heard him call my name
in agonizing prayer.

I finally left that woodshed,
my mother and dad, my home
Rebellious, resentful, so very sure
I could make it on my own.
Away from the cracking of that whip,
the scolding and the tender pleas.
But the years didn't fade the memory
of my Dad down on his knees.

The journey back home
was now long over-due
Fear and excitement mingled
as the old farm came into view
Then, my heart began to quicken as,
along the path that lay ahead
I saw a lone and aged figure
disappear into the shed.

What rejoicing! What reunion! What gladness
must have filled the air
As together, in that woodshed,
my Dad knelt with me in prayer
And now the joy that floods my soul
every time I say,
"I met Jesus in the woodshed
on that happy long-ago day".

Mother and Dad have moved away
to their new Eternal Home
The farm-land now lies barren
and the house is falling down
But this I know, that old woodshed
will never fade away
As long as memory brings it back
on each and every Father's Day.