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Bread Upon The Waters

Amongst my grandmother’s papers, a letter an poem to my great-grandfather upon my great-grandmother’s death.  Letter and poem after the jump.  I have retained all spelling errors from the original.

The Letter:

J. Britain Winter
Attorney At Law
2 E. Lexington St.
Baltimore Maryland

January 17, 1938.

Mr S. Amos Stewart
618 Cator Avenue,
Baltimore Maryland

Dear Mr. Stewart:-

It’s a hobby of mine to sometimes make attempts at writing poetry.  I do this because it seems that thoughts can best be expressed in this way.

Yesterday morning, thinking of the experience through which you are now passing and of the fact that the words of comfort which you on many occasions spoke to others are now returning to you, I tried to express this though in a poem which I am enclosing herewith in the hope that it might, in a small measure, help you in the trying experience through which you are passing.

I had hoped that I might be able to be present at the funeral services to-day, but I find that I cannot do this.  I shall be thinking of you, however, and shall be joining with your large number of friends everywhere in prayer that He will sustain you and yours with grace sufficeint to carry through.

Sincerely,

(his signature)

The poem, untitled on the original paper, but other copies have it labelled, “Bread Upon the Waters”:

How Many times your words of comfort fell
Upon the ears of those bowed down in grief;
Pointing them to the One who understands,
Who gives to lonely, broken hearts relief.
To Many a cheerless, lonely home you’ve brought
A ray of light from God’s own holy Word;
Many rebellious, bitter ones you’ve led
In their dark hour unto the feet of God.

And now to you this sad bereavement comes;
The one you loved more than you did your life
Has heard the Master’s call to come to Him;
Strong ties have severed been by God’s keen knife.
But in this lonely hour when it must seem
To you that human weakness cannot bear
The cross which you must carry, comes the thought
That God knows all about it and does care.

And to your soul there comes the memory
Of words of comfort which your lips did speak
To others trying hard to know just why
A God of love their troubled hearts should break.
You told them that some day they’d understand,
And know that what God does is always best;
That they should lean upon His loving arms,
And He would give their wounded souls sweet rest.

You did not know when you did speak those words,
That some day they, in memory, would return
To cheer the loneliness of life’s darkest hour,
As you for one you held most dear should mourn.
The God to whom you pointed other souls
As One who all their griefs and woes would share
Now sends His benediction unto you,
To ease the load too hard for you to bear.

Thank God that in a time like this you have
The background of a soul which thru the years,
Has learned to know that what God does is right,
That, trusting Him, you can smile through the tears;
Lean hard upon His everlasting arms,
He’ll not forsake you in your hour of pain;
And some day in a better, brighter land,
The one you loved you’ll greet, with Him, again.

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