God's Gentle Man(Joseph Lloyd Norman, who died 3 November, 1938)
I want to pay my tribute to a sweet and gentle man,
My Dad who loved and served His God as well as human can.
He did not talk too often of spiritual things,
But you just knew He walked with God and had the peace He brings.
He served His Master in the Church; a faithful steward he,
How proud I was to have him serve the Sacraments to me!
I have his tiny Testament where I can barely see
The date and pencilled message, “When Jesus came to me.”
He loved the world that God had made, each flower, bird and tree;
We walked the English countryside, such loveliness to see.
Music was a part of him; his clear, high tenor voice
Would lift my soul to Heaven and make my heart rejoice.
I never heard him raise his voice in anger or rebuke,
But he could break a rebellious heart with a sad, loving look.
I wish you could have known him, this man so dear to me.
I owe to him a debt of love for all he gave to me.
He had a twinkle in his eyes and hair with quite a curl,
And in his heart a special place for his precious little girl.
I often wish, on looking back, that I had listened more,
And gained some deeper knowledge from his wisdom's vast store.
I knew that I could trust him for he was always strong;
Each year I loved him more, though I didn't have him long.
I only had just fifteen years to love, learn and obey;
And what a tragedy it seemed when death took my Dad away.
I thank my Heavenly Father for his influence so fine;
He left the impact of his life imprinted deep on mine.
I pray I may leave footprints for my loved ones to see
To draw them to the warm embrace of God's own family.
Although it's sixty-five years now since I last touched his hand,
I'll not forget until I meet him in the Better Land.
As long as life on earth shall last, and memory can scan,
I'll live my life in tribute to dear Dad, God's Gentle Man!
Honoria A Groves