Not Just the Church, But World on Fire

Church on FireDedicated to the Memory of Betty Jo Howitt  (1929-2013)

Not just Church but World on fire—
Tongues of glory moving through the atmosphere.
Though building is made of stone, endures the heat,
It signifies an infinite gathering, souls with passion,
Words, hymns spilling out of windows, doors…
Love invulnerable and yet so very vulnerable
As Pentecost completes reunion with Spirit’s blessing,
Ordained so long ago.  Music sounds in blowing wind—
Heaven reaches down with blazing inspiration.

Every lamp in the church now burns
To keep the dark outside.
Time is no one’s servant,
We cannot trap even a single minute.
Sooner or later the high tide flows,
Takes us away to the New World.
While we are here, praying inside the Church,
Perhaps the choir room is the safest choice—
Joyful voices singing as she smiles from the piano.

Though in later years her fingers were stiff and hurting,
Still her playing would seep under the skin,
Calmed your agitation just a little.
Forever I’ll look at a piano bench and see her sitting there,
Foot tapping a tune, strength of music flowing from her touch.
Only now, the clock has changed the key,
An octave higher as I listen and listen at the open door.

Always she gathered an infinite gathering,
Hymns spilling out of windows, doors…
Her eyes twinkling, sometimes winking.
Now unearthly light of dawn fills the empty room.
Not just the church, but the world on fire with singing,
Music blowing ever faintly in the wind
As heaven reaches down and suddenly she is gone
To the Kingdom of the Unimaginable—
Choir of angels singing unrestrained,
A song of hope to welcome home.


3 thoughts on “Not Just the Church, But World on Fire

    • You sure don’t find many like Betty Jo these days. She was so selfless in giving herself away to so many. I will deeply miss her.

  1. The poem touched my heart deeply. You captured the essence of Betty Jo and her gift of music. Thank you for sharing your gift.

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