Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Gerhard Frost, who died in 1988, was a college and seminary professor and pastor, beloved by all who knew him. He had a lincolnesque combination of strength and quietness about him. His seminary class on the principles of education caused me, ironically, to leave seminary and become a teacher – for a while. After I was ordained – and in Gerhard’s later years – he became a colleague, a neighbor, and a friend.

Gerhard Frost was one of those pastors for whom reflective time was essential. His parishioners, his students – and we – are the beneficiaries of those reflections, especially as they resulted in the publication of a number of books of poetic meditations. Here are three favorites:


In the Scottish highlands
a man of science knelt,
crouched in the morning dew,
the better to hold a microscope
over a heather bell.

Lost in the blue traceries of exquisite design,
he saw a sun-drawn figure,
the shadow of a man.
Gazing up into a shepherd’s face,
he quickly bade him look.

One long moment
the old man stood, beholding,
pierced by microscopic patterns
in the flower.
Then he spoke: “I wish
you’d never shown me that!”
“But, why?” was the surprised response.
“Because,” the old man said,
gazing at two worn boots,
“these rude feet have crushed
so many of them.”

These rude feet,
and this God’s day,
this most resplendent hour!
Father of mercies,
give me eyes,
make me aware:
I walk in Gift today.


I remember my mouthy days,
my dazzling debates
with mom and dad.

Like a winner,
confidently I’d argue,
condescendingly I’d instruct,
tolerantly I’d repeat,
patiently I’d wait,
until, without a moment’s warning,
one of them would say,
“You know, we love you!”

“Foul!” I’d yearn to cry,
and I’d want out.
They’d struck so hard –
and below the belt.

Love cheats.
It always does;
there’s no defense.


In the long shadows of late November
we stood at the grave of one beloved
as husband, father, friend,
and I overheard soft-spoken words,
not meant for me,
but words to remember.

The moment had arrived,
that time that comes
in every hour of grief,
the moment for going on.
It was then that she,
the daughter and the only child,
spoke words intended just
for her mother: “Well, mama?”

Two softly spoken words,
nothing more, and yet so much
in meaning and in courage,
much with which to turn together
toward a future with a different face,
words of hope and love, great love,
for we honor those who’ve taught us
to face forward by going on.

Unless I am mistaken, Gerhard Frost's books are now out of print, but many of them can be found on Amazon or used book sites such as Alibris.com. These are from "Blessed Is The Ordinary."


Becky Hanson said...

My mom and dad loved and admired him so much, too. Thanks for posting these special poems.

Anonymous said...

I love these poems and the heart that shares them. The Father pours out his heart through poets pens and leaves us richer for the gift!

Anonymous said...

In 1984 I was going through a divorce. It was then, Pastor Darrel Lundby, gave me a copy of "Blessed is the Ordinary". And when we met he would read Love Cheats. My copy of the book is quite worn. The Spirit works.

Richard Jorgensen said...

Indeed, Jon, thanks for your comment. Dick.