POETRY: Five Poems For Community by Helen Steiner Rice


People’s Problems

Everyone has problems in this restless world of care,
Everyone grows weary with the crosses they must bear.
Everyone is troubled and their skies are overcast
As they try to face the future while still dwelling in the past.
But people with their problems only listen with one ear,
For people only listen to the things they want to hear,
And they only hear the things they are able to believe,
And the answers God gives they’re not ready to receive.
So while the people’s problems keep growing every day
And humans try to solve them in their own willful way,
God seeks to help and watches, waiting always patiently
To help them solve their problems, whatever they may be
So people of all nations may at last become aware
That God will solve the people’s problems
Through faith and hope and prayer.

Each Day

Each day as it comes
brings a chance to each one
To love to the fullest,
leaving nothing undone
That would brighten the life
or lighten the load
Of some weary traveler
lost on life’s road.
So what does it matter
how long we may live
If as long as we live
we unselfishly give.

Steppingstones to God

An aching heart is but a steppingstone
To greater joy than you’ve ever known,
For things that cause the heart to ache
Until you think that it must break
Become the strength by which we climb
To higher heights that are sublime
And feel the radiance of God’s smiles
When we have soared above life’s trials.
So when you’re overwhelmed with fears
And all your hopes are drenched in tears,
Think not that life has been unfair
And given you too much to bear,
For God has chosen you because,
With all your weaknesses and flaws,
He feels that you are worthy of
The greatness of His wondrous love.

Take courage and be stouthearted, all you who hope in the Lord. (Psalm 31:25)

Worry No More

Have you ever been caught in a web you didn’t weave,
Involved in conditions that are hard to believe?
Have you ever felt you must explain and deny
A story that’s groundless or a small whispered lie?
Have you ever heard rumors you would like to refute
Or some telltale gossip you would like to dispute?
Well, don’t be upset, for God knows the score,
And with God as your judge you need worry no more.
For men may misjudge you, but God’s verdict is fair,
For He looks deep inside and is deeply aware
Of every small detail in your pattern of living,
And always He’s fair and lenient and forgiving,
And knowing that God is your judge and your jury
Frees you completely from man’s falseness and fury.
And secure in this knowledge let your thoughts rise above
Man’s small shallow judgments that are so empty of
God’s goodness and greatness in judging all men,
And forget ugly rumors and be happy again.

Today’s Joy

Who said the darkness of the night
would never turn to day?
Who said the winter’s bleakness
would never pass away?
Why should we ever entertain
these thoughts so dark and grim
And let the brightness of our minds
grow cynical and dim,
When we know beyond all questioning
that winter turns to spring
And on the notes of sorrow
new songs are made to sing?
For no one sheds a teardrop
or suffers loss in vain,
For God is always there to turn
our losses into gain. . .
And every burden borne today
and every present sorrow
Are but God’s happy harbingers
of a joyous, bright tomorrow.


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