Number 58 (A Reflection on Pee Dee Mission)

Hey all,

So half of our team just got back from our Pee Dee Mission in South Carolina. For those of you who don’t know our ministry has a relationship with a very small, off the map community. We go down 3 times a year, twice during the summer on service missions trips to help with construction, home repair, cleaning, those sorts of things. In the winter, we bring down a tractor trailer full of donated clothing, winterwear, household products, and toys for people to come and have for Christmas.

This post might be a little different from the ones we’ve had the past few times, but I think its just as important. This poem is a somewhat personal reflection on my time there during Christmas as well as this past week of the summer. These are the stories of real people, who live in this country. They breathe, they walk, they live these lives. Don’t glaze over it. This is real. And I hope their stories remind you of the compassion and love of Jesus and how as his followers, we daily need to die to self and

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live for him….

There’s a town in the south on a small country lane

where everybody lives on streets with no names

But if you asked the owner of the corner store

He could tell you where to find his neighbor and the other four

hundred people within a ten mile range

where poverty cripples and racism’s no stranger

Just ask the kids from the Indian school

what happened to their building they’ll tell you it was cruel

when the others burnt it down, down, down

Racism’s behind us we say. Take a look around

At the community center they built not once but twice

it was burned once and again…till they gave up the fight

I don’t mean to preach but I want you to notice

maybe somethin would change if somebody wrote it

There’s a town in the south on a small country lane

and everyone lives on streets with no names

And the man who walks with a crippled gait

Can hardly speak he tries to communicate

that the only thing he wants is a nice warm hat

to keep out the frigid night air so that

when he sleeps on the street it might keep out the cold

keep out the old droning voices tellin him he aint worth it

I squeeze my eyes shut as I punch his number, just a number

for some food, some clothes, and a bar of soap

but Jesus said I should give him my cloak

I tried but he didn’t want mine and I took too much time

tryin to find… another

he said “don’ worry ma’am…I’ll be jus fine.”

But I can’t help but stutter that I let down my brother.

And what about his neighbor who lives 2 blocks outside town

His roof’s cavin in and there aint nobody around

just to sit and talk with him for awhile

share a glass of lemonade and smile

thinkin bout those times when the town was alive

when you did more than just survive

and strive to make ends meet.

It was sweet when there was a jukebox and a restaurant with cable

Kept your feet in the shoes that put food on the table

And to think it could’ve changed with a campbell’s soup label

but no

the rich keep their labels and cradle their selfish ways

keepin industry out so their status quo stays

the same.

Their cheap labor can’t compete

with jobs that keep people off the street.

So they sacrifce one for the other

and it pains me to stutter…this that and the other

they let down their brothers

and sisters

and misters

and missus Jones lost her fiance in a crash

the same one where she lost her legs we asked

if we could help her sort through

the vases and candles with faded “I do’s”

With tears in her eyes and mem’ries that bruise

she peruses and views

the few things she has left

“I’m sorry, ” she cries, “I can’t lose him yet”

The car from the crash sits in the back yard

It costs too much to tow it somewhere far


it’s not okay that it sits there waiting everyday

for her to remember that the pain’s too great

I don’t mean to preach but I want you to notice


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somethin would change if somebody wrote it.

He walks around the parking lot of the fast food chains

Askin for bus fare home to a street with no name

He wears a suit and stumbles, pullin at his collar

With his head down prayin for two more dollars

You could write him off as a drug addict or a lazy sleeze

But Jesus says take care of the least of these

Maybe it’s right and maybe it’s wrong

But how can we go to church and sing songs

askin to be more like Jesus if we don’t long

to do what he did and love what he loved

Is praying and wonderin really enough?

I don’t mean to preach but I want you to notice

Maybe somethin would change if somebody wrote it

I’ve seen Jesus’ love in the eyes of a friend

Tellin that man that Jesus loves him

Takin out his wallet and givin in

a few dollars for another to know what love is

I’ve seen Jesus’ hands buildin new roofs on a house

Working from dawn till dusk so the rain stays out

Staying an extra hour to tell that man who’s lonely

that he’s not the only


I’ve heard Jesus’ voice in women and men

Tellin Missus Jones she can rest easy again

I’ve felt Jesus’ heart as I watched people sing

Of Christ’s faithfulness in the midst of everything

I keep thinkin the words “I can’t” or “I don’t know what to do”

But once you’ve been there once, you’re family too

If there was ever a time to figure out how

We shouldn’t push it off…I think it’s right now.

I don’t mean to preach but I want you to notice

Maybe somethin would change if somebody wrote it.

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