Two Mother’s Day Poems from Pastor John

Picking Up Where Mother Left Off

My mother was a workin’ Frau:
Teutonic blood flowed in her veins.
The German sweat stood on her brow,
And, like the flawless German trains,
She kept appointments to the dot;
And taught her children it was wrong,
Whether we were sick or not,
To make a person wait for long.
I saw the Munich housewives scrub
The sidewalks with a brush and boots,
And, as I watched them wield the tub,
I learned a lot about my roots.
I heard a German scholar say,
“You must examine every source,”
And smiled, for that was mamma’s way,
“The job must be done right, of course!”
I read how Luther stood like stone
Against the old indulgence tax,
And thought how mother stood alone
Against a church that hated blacks.
I read how Brahms and Schumann said
They craved the Bible every day,
And saw my mother late in bed,
Propped up to read the Book and pray…

For me, no doubt, with all her might.
I never will forget that sight.
God bless you;
I’ll carry on blue-eyed workin’ Frau the work
for now.


On Grace

Some people tell me I was free,
When I believed in Christ;
And by my power got victory,
When all the world enticed.

I think they did not know my heart,
Nor theirs. Let it be said,
That I for one had sought no part
In rising from the dead.

They wonder at the sovereign rights
That I allow my King,
And puzzle at the worship heights
To which his rule gives wing.

But I will rest God’s grace today
On this (I need no other)
He did not give any say,
But chose for me my mother.

Thumb author john piper

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.

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