By Fr. Ed Eherer, C.Ss.R.
I wrote the following poem for the Feast of St. Joseph, March 19, 2013.
With dreams, one never can be sure
If earnest they may be,
yet oft is found the words of truth,
if one but look and see.
In ancient tales through mists of time
in Egypt, far away,
My namesake Joseph dreamt as well
and heard what God would say.
In similar ways, God’s voice I heard
In dreams of joy and pain.
And though the years now cloud my eyes,
Bright memories remain.
Rememb’ring well those heady days
when limbs were strong and sure,
I sought to take in love’s embrace
my Miriam, so pure.
Yet in my joy, a sudden shock
that stung like freezing rain.
Confusion swayed and filled my head
with love’s unwelcomed pain.
I felt betrayal’s bitter sting,
Yet loath was I to blame.
‘Twas then I had the first of dreams,
When anger mixed with shame.
“Fear not!” the angel voice had said,
“To you, salvation comes.
For on this night have you been named
to foster God’s own Son.”
So taking Mary as my wife
To Bethlehem we’d come
Where angel hosts proclaimed the birth
Of heaven’s only Son.
The next dream spoke in hurried tones
and warned of deadly plans.
“Take flight, you must, from Herod’s wrath,
to Egypt’s distant lands.”
With madness, one cannot contend
so flee our land, we must,
to live in exile, far from home
and toil in Egypt’s dust.
But soon the voice of providence
Announced the tyrant’s end.
Yet still advised a cautious path
to Nazareth to tend.
And thus began my life-long task
of guiding this small lad
By helping him to grow in grace
and give what e’er I had.
With hammer, nail, and brace and bit,
With cedar, plane, and pine
I taught my son to carve and build
Such furnishings so fine.
And yet, I knew this charge of mine
Was here but for a time.
When he grew up, he’d set upon
His mission most sublime.
As dusk now overtakes the land,
Once more I close my eyes,
surrendering my spirit so,
to wait for God’s surprise.