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Poetry Pleases: Gay Clawson Bray On Her Seventieth Birthday - 20 July 2006

Open Writing's treasured columnist Ronnie Bray writes a poem for a very special lady on her very special day.

Those who only scan the skies for stars
Will fail to see a brighter luminary
Who burst upon this scene seven decades ago,
In a place little known.
The child of extraordinary people.

Her growing was not without pain,
She felt the barbs that left her
Feeling of less worth than her peers.

Heaven blessed her with a feeling heart
A bright mind, an instinct for truth,
An ear that heard the voice of God,
And the courage to bear all that was required of her.

Hers the distress of eleven spirits
Who did not break the veil,
Yet she rejoiced to bring four into the world alive.
Noble spirits, spirits proved and true;
Strong and good children in whom she lit
The flames of faith, honour, trust, and every Godly virtue.

Her names were Hope, Toil, Valour, Vision,
Her legacy from pioneers
Who walked by faith the deserts stumbling trail
But reached the mark.
Zion people inhabiting Zionís Land.

Her life, like most, was strewn with longings
That she would reap the harvest of her dreams
And see her children rise like warriors
To march behind her in the Army of the Lord,
Before they strode ahead to lead, as she had led,
When their strides lengthened, and her own grew frail.

This one I was well blessed to meet,
And know full well that no man ever knew
A greater blessing in his heart, his home, his life,
Than those advantages she brought to me.

Now she is old; our faces dim, our voices are less clear.
But time has not diminished aught of the love
Her heart bears for those who have her blood,
Or those she has enfolded in Loveís scheme in friendshipís name.

Her steps unsteady; her fingers lose their power,
Her need to rest grows greater day by day.
Yet she continues in her ministry,
To reach her shaking hands to lift and bless,
Her faltering steps make still their urgent way
Towards the less favoured, the needy,
The distressed, the outcast, the unloved.

She asks but little in her olden state,
Except some small remembrance now and then,
That she can know that those she loves still live her,
And then, that knowledge gained, she sleeps, she sleeps.

She is the loveliest of all Eveís race.
Her spacious heart, her ever-smiling face,
Her ready laugh at my too trifling jest
Confirm each moment that I am unduly blest.

Although our mutual walk has not been long,
Measured by time, it has been filled with joy
Of such degree and measure that would serve
Manifold lives for those less favoured, and I pity them.

Not just the few remaining years we share
The closeheart love and friendship that is ours,
But beyond the gates of Godís eternal realm
Our cherishing continues with no end of years,
No time to execute decay, no parting time ahead,
No sad farewells, no tears, no losses, and no moment
When we will not be joyful in embrace.

For these and other gifts on her birthday,
I thank the God of Heaven, Abba, Father,
Giver of all good gifts, Guardian of the Way,
Author of Salvation, sender of the Christ
Who guarantees the faithful will receive
The promised crown of life eternal, exaltation.
Blesser of those who trust Him, and Almighty Provider
To me of my beloved Gay!

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