Death Paid a Visit to Our Home

A leader is present for many of life’s challenges and celebrations. Death inevitably and invariably touches everyone and we must be there for our people. This poem features death as a silent partner in our grief, as we struggle to gain our composure an ability to be strong and go forward.

Death Paid a Visit to Our Home

Death paid a visit to our home.
He was a gentleman and came alone.
He shared in every somber thought.
He saw firsthand the pain he brought;
Sat silently among recollections,
And listened to the words of reflection.

Death as a nomad, a traveler combs
The countryside and the streets of the city.
Death, an unwelcomed visitor to homes
That had hoped he’d pass over; For pity
Precedes the wailing and gnashing of teeth.
The sense of loss that torments beneath
The epidermal layers of grief,
Begs the physician for cure or relief.

He led us through songs to put us at ease,
To sway minds off the pain and disease.
He led us through pleasantries revealing,
The depth of wonder and girth of feelings.
Death was conductor to grief stricken kin.
He led us in fellowship as we sat in
Communion with the nearly departed;
The forlorn, lonely and brokenhearted.

Death when he visited cherished the rights
Of mourners as we suffered the nights
And days until the anguish of the soul
Transported our loved one to Sheol.
Death as a quiet manifestation,
Did not disclose their destination.
We discovered that Death first collects
And returns later to pay his respects.

Death paid a visit to our home.
He was a gentleman and came alone.
He shared in every somber thought
He saw firsthand the pain he brought;
Sat silently among recollections,
And listened to the words of reflection.

Copyright © 2001 Orlando Ceaser
Reprinted from Teach the Children to Dance
By Orlando Ceaser
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A Greater Story to Tell

Challenges are part of our development and survival curriculum. With a change in perspective we can see them as exercises making us stronger and providing opportunities and data that will be useful to us and those we influence. These challenges, struggles and tribulations can also make us more interesting and therefore, give us a greater story to tell. I have used the poem and process in a workshop with cancer survivors and their care givers as they shared their cancer journey and other challenges faced in their lives.

A Greater Story to Tell

When you reflect on hurdles in the race;
The many times you stood after you fell.
When you think of dreams you’ve chased
And replaced;
They give you a greater story to tell.

With struggles intense and continuous
Life buckled your knees, but your back was straight.
The footing was unsure and strenuous,
But you managed through faith to challenge fate.

You wonder why circumstances are hard,
But remember the woman at the well;
His living water made her disregard
Her plight with a greater story to tell.

The magnitude of His majesty smiles
On those who ask for wisdom in the storm.
To pray for optimism in your trials
For mercy, grace and the strength to perform.

If you will seek you first the kingdom of God
Within you the Holy Spirit will dwell.
His joy will guide your footsteps as you trod
Through life with a greater story to tell.

As subjects of the omnipotent King
With blessings unmatched without parallel;
Amazed we find, in our suffering,
There’s often a greater story to tell.

Copyright © 2013 Orlando Ceaser

Discussion Questions

1. Please discuss hurdles you are facing that are challenging you and
keeping you up at nights.
2. Discuss how you have shown strength in your current circumstances.
3. What are your practices, routines, disciplines to stay connected with
God?
4. How has your story become greater?
5. How are you using it to influence, role model and help others?

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