A sad and tragic story, has been passed down throughout the years,
One about an only child, a story that is cause for tears.
Oh, how his father loved him, and how his mother loved him too,
But they were very poor people, and this life had struggled through.
They worried about their son, and a college education,
So they scrimped and saved for years, dreaming of his graduation.
Both were getting on in years, and thus their health was not the best,
But until they had saved enough, they toiled on without a rest.
When they had saved all the money that was needed for their son,
They sent him off to college, thrilled that this they’d finally done.
Thus, tears flowed as they waved goodbye to the son that they held dear,
For they could not be sure when their much loved son would next appear.
Whenever they could do so, a few more dollars they would send,
Tucked inside an envelope with a loving note that they’d penned.
They knew that the money they’d sent might not pay for all he’d need,
So every day on bended knee, with the Lord above they’d plead.
A number of years went by, and the letters sent home decreased,
Which greater concern and longing in each parent’s heart increased.
And when another year went by, and no news had come their way,
The husband bade his wife goodbye, and set off on horse and dray.
For many long days he travelled, his head shaded from the sun,
And he, lost in pleasant memories, hoping soon to see his son.
Travelling over winding tracks with an aching deep in his heart,
He bemoaned the past few years that they had had to spend apart.
And he thought about the college where his much-loved son now went,
One where more wealthy parents their more privileged children sent.
He had wanted the very best for his disadvantaged son,
But as he neared the college, he wondered, “Was the right thing done?”
His son would have changed, of course, and a young man he would now be,
Mixing with those wealthy ones, who viewed poor folk disdainfully.
Would he want his new friends to know that his mum and dad were poor;
And what might he have told them? — yes, such thoughts he couldn’t ignore.
Soon two large stately college gates appeared clearly within view,
And a tired but excited father, those stately gates passed through.
Looking somewhat dishevelled, and in clothes that were second-hand,
He halted in the driveway, where anxiously, the grounds were scanned.
Lofty old buildings drew the gaze of this humble working man,
Astounded at their grandeur, and how they all for acres ran.
His squinting eyes searched out the grounds with intense concentration,
And soon he was rewarded with much cause for jubilation.
For with unbelievable joy, he caught sight of his dear son,
And the thin wheels of the old dray on the shingle driveway spun.
His voice rang with excitement as he called out his dear son’s name,
But the face of his startled son portrayed embarrassment and shame.
Surrounded by all his classmates, (whose surprise was also clear),
His words tore at his father’s heart, fouled the sultry summer air.
“Shove off, old man. You’re not my dad. I’ve never seen you before.
Just go back where you came from, before somebody calls the law.”
And quickly turning on his heels, his son briskly strode away,
As his classmates mocked and jeered his dad on the old horse and dray.
Tears flowed down the father’s face as horse and dray were turned around,
And his aged body shook with sobs, as hooves beat upon the ground.
Back out through the large college gates went a broken-hearted man,
Whose red, smarting, tear-filled eyes now no longer sought to scan.
One lost to his surroundings, and in a fog of crippling pain,
A thousand hammers hammering deep inside his tortured brain.
Off down the old winding track, the father slowly made his way,
The trip home seeming much longer, for deep pain now ruled the day.
And even the old faithful mare, hauling the old battered dray,
Seemed to sense her master’s deep pain, as they homeward made their way.
As the father neared his home, his darling wife waved from the gate,
Unaware that the son she’d borne had just sealed her husband’s fate.
But no corresponding wave came from the man that she had missed,
For it seemed that the horse’s reins were embedded in his fist.
Unable to say a word, he stepped down from the battered dray,
And towards the open house door, his wife helped him make his way.
And anxious about her husband’s state, she led him to a chair
Where beside the fireplace, his thoughts he would regularly share.
After giving him a gentle hug, she turned to close the door,
When suddenly, her husband groaned and then crumpled to the floor.
Horrified, she clutched at him, but not a word could he impart,
For this man she now cradled, had just died of a broken heart.
Yes, what a tragic story, that I via poetry impart,
Which brings to my mind Someone else who died of a broken heart.
And He too, set out from His home for loved ones that He missed too,
Wishing that they were home with Him, firmly in His care and view.
Yes, He too, suffered rejection after travelling from afar,
And marks from that rejection our Saviour's blessēd hands now mar.
Oh, how He suffered on that cross, spurned by those He’d come to save,
But, glory hallelujah, He conquered death and fled the grave.
And His death wasn’t in vain, for He has offered grace to all,
Pardoning the repentant who respond to His loving call.
And our Saviour is still searching this earth where His loved ones stay,
Hoping that more will respond, and not foolishly turn away.
Would any folk who mock and jeer, keep you from your Saviour’s arms,
Thus breaking His heart again, and sending more pain through His palms?
Would you turn upon your heels if He came and called out your name?
Would you in front of others, display embarrassment and shame?
Or would you, despite other folk, who might mock and jeer your Friend,
Embrace Him if He called you, and then your love for Him defend?
Would you, in front of other folk, show delight should He appear,
And turn with a warm welcome t’wards that sweet sound that you would hear?
Yes, two sad and tragic stories, but the latter one mentioned here
Has a much happier ending, one in which we all can share.
It’s full of hope and promise for those who their Saviour don't spurn,
For Christ, with many angels, for such Christians will soon return.