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The Filthy Man
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By Louis Gander
Other Poems by Louis Gander

The Filthy Man

I was the only usher here

inside our little church.

The sermon was just starting and

for truth, we'd always search.


Now everything was normal there

right up to and until,

the door creaked slowly open and

we all grew very still.


In pastor's long mid-sentence, the

strange silence first began,

for standing in the doorway was

a poor and filthy man.


Appeared, he did, atrocious there

and homeless quite awhile,

with clothes severely tattered, but

I staged a phony smile.


Now everyone had noticed him -

and not just quite a few.

so ushered him, I quickly to,

the end of nearest pew.


As if there were a final drop

of coffee in each cup,

all heads were tipped a-way, way back

with noses sticking up.


Now pride was quite a problem back

since Adam and since Eve

and even today's Christians who

may claim that they believe.


Continued then, the pastor did

and when was said and done,

we wanted to leave quickly but

once more it had begun.


It happened, as you may have guessed,

the filthy man had stood.

He then walked down the empty aisle.

It didn't look too good.


Each member there stood silent and

embarrassed, froze, aghast -

for all eyes were upon him as

the filthy man walked past.


Not knowing what to expect next

with pastor silent too,

all time came to a stand still as

he walked past ev'ry pew.


Right to the front of church he walked

when there he seemed to freeze.

A moment later just collapsed...

right down on dirty knees.


The congregation was so stunned

as he confessed it all.

His prayer was for repentance and

to God we heard him call.


Now no one spoke and no one moved

until a small girl came -

and knelt down right beside him there.

Then all was not the same.


An old man also quickly came

and asked forgiveness too.

And even I came to the front

with others just like you.


Now maybe love had tugged our hearts,

or it was by design -

but seen, a single dry eye?  No,

and those included mine.


It wasn't long before we all -

the children, women, men -

all us who held our noses high,

became humbled again.


It took a poor and filthy man

to open up our eyes

and wash our filthy hearts again

with humble, humble cries.


©2019 louis gander


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Submitted: Saturday, February 2, 2019

Last Updated: Saturday, February 2, 2019

About the Poet
Born in Richland Center, Wisconsin in 1954. It's the poem's message that matters- not the poet.

Other Poems by Louis Gander

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