Old Man Green

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is WHAT THE EYES DON’T SEE

As I considered a response, three different illustrations came to mind:

–Jesus describes the work of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter who would come from the Father and guide the disciples after He was gone. The Spirit is like the wind, He told them: you hear the sound, and see the effects of wind, but never SEE the wind. Likewise, the Holy Spirit is a gentle force or voice working to urge, guide, and reprove people. You will see the effects of his work, the changes in people’s lives, but the Holy Spirit itself is never visible.

–I also thought of a story I was working on a few days ago, a tale of political “sleight of hand.” How to manipulate evidence so as to make a dastardly deed look like the other guy’s fault. The Boston Tea Party, for example. Maybe I’ll finish it and post it later today.

And then I thought of some of the people Edgar Guest describes, folks who demonstrate the real values of life, like Old Man Green and old Blake here.

THE HOMELY MAN

 Looks as though a cyclone hit him — 
 can’t buy clothes that seem to fit him
 and his cheeks are rough like leather,
 made for standin’ any weather.
 Outwards he was fashioned plainly
 loose of joint and blamed ungainly,
 but I’d give a lot of I’d
 been built half as fine inside.
 
Best thing I can tell you of him
 is the way the children love him.
 Now and then I get to thinkin’
 that he’s much like old Abe Lincoln.
 Homely like a gargoyle graven —
 worse than that when he’s unshaven;
 but I’d take his ugly phiz
 just to have a heart like his.

 I ain’t over-sentimental,
 but old Blake is so blamed gentle
 and so thoughtful-like of others;
 he reminds us of our mothers.
 Rough roads he is always smoothin’
 and his way is, oh, so soothin’,
 that he takes away the sting
 when your heart is sorrowing.

 Children gather round about him
 like they can’t get on without him.
 And the old depend upon him 
 pilin’ on their burdens on him,
 like as though the thing that grieves ‘em
 has been lifted when he leaves ‘em.
 Homely? That can’t be denied —
 but he’s glorious inside.

 From his book, Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest,
 ©1934 by the Reilly & Lee Co

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