How shall they hear without a preacher?: Through a Ukrainian window

Today’s wonderings and wanderings were actually written several years ago during a teaching mission to Kiev, Ukraine.  I was reminded of these thoughts as I was wandering through my computer files this week.

Through A Ukrainian Window

Heel toe, heel toe;

On the sidewalk down below.

Silent figures cold and gray

Through the sunless dawn;

Off to work at break of day,

Tread along on and on and on.

Heel toe, heel toe;

On the sidewalk down below.

Workers dressed in grays and browns

Walking on their way to town.

Slosh and jostle, never speak;

As I through my window peek.

Heel toe, heel toe;

On the sidewalk down below.

No need of clock or rooster call.

No need of sunshine’s bright embrace.

Each morning stirred from sleep’s slow crawl,

By the murmured shuffling of their pace.

Heel toe, heel toe;

On the sidewalk down below.

From bedroom window thinly veiled,

I watch each morning in the dew;

Silent masses without fail,

Pass me by each day anew.

Heel toe, heel toe;

On the sidewalk down below.

Shadow figures in the night,

Pass in silence left and right.

I see no smiles, I hear no cheer.

They pass below so far — so near.

Heel toe, heel toe;

On the sidewalk down below.

Marchers silent as they pass.

Eyes with penetrating stare.

Mouths locked in wordless cast.

Is there no joy for them to share?

Heel toe, heel toe;

On the sidewalk down below.

Separated by so little space,

From window’s pane to silent race.

Yet a measure too great to span;

Language separates man from man.

Heel toe, heel toe;

On the sidewalk down below.

“How shall they hear,” the preacher said,

“About our Savior who has bled?”

“Who gave Himself for them to die!”

But in silence — they pass me by.

Heel toe, heel toe;

On the sidewalk down below.

Chuck McLain

About Charles McLain
I am Chair and Professor of Old Testament at Calvary Baptist Seminary in Lansdale, PA.

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