The Soldier

The soldier stood and faced his God

Which must always come to pass

He hoped his shoes were shining

Just as brightly as his brass.

“Step forward now, you soldier,

How shall I deal with you?

Have you always turned the other cheek?

To My Church have you been true?”

The soldier squared his shoulders and

said, “No, Lord, I guess I ain’t

Because those of us who carry guns

Can’t always be a saint.

I’ve had to work most Sundays

And at times my talk was tough,

And sometimes I’ve been violent,

Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny

That wasn’t mine to keep…

Though I worked a lot of overtime

When the bills got just too steep,

And I never passed a cry for help,

Though at times I shook with fear,

And sometimes, God forgive me,

I’ve wept unmanly tears.

I know I don’t deserve a place

Among the people here,

They never wanted me around

Except to calm their fears.

If you’ve a place for me here, Lord,

It needn’t be so grand,

I never expected or had too much,

But if you don’t, I’ll understand.”

There was a silence all around the throne

Where the saints had often trod

As the soldier waited quietly,

For the judgment of his God,

“Step forward now, you soldier,

You’ve borne your burdens well,

Walk peacefully on Heaven’s streets,

You’ve done your time in Hell.”
Author Unknown


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