"Dede's Walk With God"

The Trouble Pile

"Where do you go
today, old man.
With that great load
there on your back?"
The old man just grumbled
as he hobbled a long
Holding Tight to
the bulging sack.

"I say, old man,
"cried the boy again
"Do you carry
a sack of gold?"
"Nay, lad,"
the old man whispered.
"Tis just troubles
that's all I hold."

"This sack I've carried,
all my life
Each trouble I've had is here.
They've grown till now,
my back grows bent
With every passing year.

"There's grief and pain,
there's hurt and woe,
There are trials
and sins galore
But I'm going now
to the trouble pile
and I won't pack
these no more."

The boy looked up
with a troubled glance.
"Tell me, what's
the trouble pile?
I'd like to know,
and while we talk
You can sit
and rest a while."

"I lack the time,"
the old man said,
I've got to rush along.
I want to get to the trouble pile
"Fore the little troubles are gone.

"You see, it's a place
where all can go
To trade troubles
great and small
You can leave yours there
and pick new ones up.
Why, I'll trade 'till
I've none at all."

The boy glanced down
at his twisted leg,
And he blinked to hold back a tear.
"Could I trade this leg
for a good one," he asked,
"If the trouble pile was here?"

"Of course, you could,"
the old man was gruff.
"But there's still
a long way to go.
I've got to hurry or I'll be late,
And crippled you'd be too slow."

So the boy sat down
and watched the man,
Disappear in the morning light,
The hours wore on
and still he watched
As the day moved on to night.

At last, there in the distance,
The old man walked tall and strong,
A bulging sack still on his back,
But on his lips, a song.

"I see you traded, mister,
And lost your heavy load,
His little voice grew wistful
As he looked back down the road.

The old man grinned
and tossed his bag
With a thud, in the dusty track.
And he smiled a smile
at the little boy
As he sat and leaned lazily back.

"Now, I'll tell you, lad,
though you'll not believe
But that sack is the same as I had.
When I saw the troubles of other folks.
I found mine not half so bad.

"Sure, I've hardly got a trouble now,
And I'll tell you something too
If you could see that trouble pile,
You'd keep that bad leg too.

"Cause I've done a bit of thinking
As I walked along the way.
And if we worked hard
on that leg of yours
It would grow straight
and strong to stay,

"Now I've really
nothing much to do
And a crutch I could make for a start."
Then he hugged the boy to hide a tear,
And the joy in an old man's heart.

So the boy and the man
worked together,
From morning to the last
light of day,
And the twisted leg
finally was straightened,
And the boy could soon
run and play.

It was then the old man
knew he must leave,
And again he shouldered his sack,
But no longer did it bulge
with his troubles
It just hung there
loose on his back!

For while he was helping another.
His own troubles faded away,
He had truly found the trouble pile,
It's there if you look for the way.
~~ Author Unknown ~~


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           "Dede's Walk With God"


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