Simply Waiting

Other people are not able
No, they cannot understand
Why I don't comply
And do the things that they demand.

So they place a label on me
And they call it RE-TAR-DA-TION
- though I have a memory
That far-reaches the creation
And though I have a mind
That comprehends the unconceivable
And know the how and why
Of what men call unbelievable.

See, my soul it is my lifeline
And through it with God I commune
And silently, always, He whispers to me
That I shall come home soon.

God came to me long ago
When I was in my mother's womb
And said, I'm going to make you like
A royal king in a buried tomb.

I'm going to give you riches
A grand and special kind
The answers to the universe
Will be buried in your mind.

But for this special blessing
I'll need something in exchange
So, I'll give you a broken body
And a mind that seems deranged.

But this must remain a secret
So on your soul make a vow
That you'll not tell what you know
Nor will you tell how.

And if you ever decide
To break your promises with Me
You'll not see Me in heaven
Nor in eternity.

And so I kept my part
And my lips stayed sealed.
And now I'm simply waiting
For the promise to be fulfilled.

Author's Inspiration

I wrote this poem when I was a 17-year-old senior in high school. My English teacher had given the class an assignment to form groups and have each person in the group write a poem from the perspective of a particular person in a particular place and time.

My group chose to write about standing in line on Judgment Day. One young woman in the group chose to write from the perspective of a prostitute; another student chose to write from the perspective of a doctor. I chose to write from the perspective of a person with a mental disability. In a fiction book I once read, one of the characters had a brother who had been labeled mentally retarded. The character wondered if perhaps his brother had special abilities that no one knew about. That idea stuck in my mind, and I was inspired to write this poem.

The poem isn't theologically sound from a Christian perspective because our salvation isn't based on us keeping a secret; rather, it is based on our acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior. However, it does raise an interesting question: Do those whom we often consider most disadvantaged perhaps actually have some special gift that makes life glorious for them in ways that those of us deemed "normal" can't quite understand? It is a hopeful thought.

Written by Michelle Stewart in 1986 and dedicated to her cousin Daniel.
© 1990 Michelle L. Stewart

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