April 27, 1998


we sang "Amazing Grace" last night in Church

twenty of us seated on the stage

one of Marilyn's bright ideas


as usual


despite my fear

at the end Gwen and I

started everyone off on the same tune

but carrying the words "Praise God!"


and suddenly I am transported through time

twenty years back, or so

and see Rhebergens, Karsenbergs, and their friends


singing the same words

surrounding Oma's coffin

aunts and uncles crying in the cold


especially Uncle John

who started us on this song

all sad

that their mother is no more

yet glad

at where she is


ever since that day I’ve seen

sunsets as the portals of heaven

where Oma sings her own version

of "Amazing Grace"

before God Himself


The funeral referred to was that of Oma Rhebergen

(my Father's mother) many years ago. My Uncle John

continued singing the words "Praise God" to the tune

of "Amazing Grace." This event was one of my first

experiences of the Christian's certainty of eternal life.