The Secret Place

It started back at work one day,
Nineteen – twenty, I would say,
A private place, a solemn space,
The Secret Place, to read and think and pray.
College school and working too,
Factory working – Jeep’s and cars we made,
lunch time was my time – the only time of day,
to have some time, some secret time,
to read and think and pray.

A dingy dirty little room, on the factory floor;
equipped with chair and waist high bin,
a not so pleasant place, where the parts were stored.
Gray cinder block was the room, no windows in the afternoon.
Yet, here I found The Secret Place!
In my mind and memory – this solemn hollowed space,
So joyful found on factory floor, I found a little place,
This precious space, The Secret Place to read and think and pray.

I went to seminary, The Prayer Room in the dorm.
Lectures, and books, and worked at night,
my life so busy, like a busy storm.
The Secret Place, was put on hold,
Heart’s devotion – lukewarm to cold.
A poor exchange, I traded down;
theology – church history and the like,
a silver education for The Secret Place of gold.
Sometimes I prayed, I did find time,
when I had a need a want at times.
The Prayer Room in the dorm – not a Secret Place,
others often there, at least became a shared relief.
My God I loved; the want to serve – call of God for sure,
The Secret Place – I’m too busy, this thinking God endured.

With heart and soul, degree in hand;
Time to start my journey now,
Ministry, – Itinerary – to jet about the land.
Church to church and here and there;
youth preaching, – church preaching – camp meetings,
filling in for pastors – here and there and everywhere.
Surprised myself – mild success – no velvet verbs – no silky words,
phrases – articulation – not so good – but God was good to me.
Anyone would ask me – to want me – to me a mystery!
Shook my head – they thought I had – something good to say.
Some time has passed and I look back, not much to say I had,
more my youth, my faith, my will to do – skillful just a tad.

I whisked away from all of this to pastor my own flock,
What I gained those seven years preaching here and there;
The Secret Place regained again – the door I did unlock;
I had to pray – read and meditate! I need a sermon thought!
A helpful thought, in time to preach God’s grace!
Path of least resistance – we usually seek and take,
I learned to make a difference, I need the The Secret Place!
Pastor church to church, for many years to come,
God’s people to care and love – to lift them from above.
The more the need, to care and preach each week;
The Secret Place to read and think and pray!

Some trouble and surprising pains – too often came my way;
some things in – some things out – out of my control.
All these things in aggregate – threatened to take their toll,
They drove me to The Secret Place – a place to be consoled.

The life I have today, is more than I deserve;
the only answer I can think, is God reserved for me!
Great health, great family, great friends – financial security.
Most of all, within my heart – a secret voice within my soul.
God’s people I have served, it will always be at least for me.
A little differently; not preaching or teaching – no pastorate now.
Helping those help others; therapists, clinicians and counselors.
Everywhere and anywhere – more than a thousand strong are we.
Much work to do – The Secret Place I need,
a private space, to think and pray and read.
Although, I own this business, it’s still a ministry!
Then there’s essays and there’s poems,
feel compelled to freely give, and freely I will receive.
I love this work, not for gain, or acclaim – this is for me!
Helping those helping others; therapists, clinicians and counselors.
Everywhere and anywhere – a thousand strong are we.
Much work to do – The Secret Place I need,
a private space, to think and pray and read.
Although, this is a business, it’s still a ministry!

Sabbatical – vacation, I find a place to call my own,
A Secret Place to read and think and pray.
In the corner of the room, or somewhere else away from guests,
I find a little private nest – a Secret Place when I’m away.
Daybreak in the morning to read and think and pray.

Much older now, in memory still,
the chair the bin – the dingy little room.
Today, I own house, – a family room,
a fireplace, a blanket and a window too.
In my home – where I go this comfy space,
The Secret Place, to read and think and pray.
Wake up! – get up! and look up! The voice within me calls.
Not worth it! Don’t wait, – don’t sleep – don’t stall.
Waste not this precious time, at the breaking of the day.
The Secret Place is waiting, to read and think and pray!

Joseph C. Hutchison, Rochester Hills, Michigan, April 2020
Publish By Permission Only

2 comments

  1. love it. felt the need to revisit my ‘secret place’ – and it is very different from the original one, years, and decades ago.

    Like

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