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The sailor stood and faced God

Which must always come to pass

He hoped his shoes were shining

Just as brightly as his brass.


Step forward now, you sailor

How shall I deal with you?

Have you always turned the other cheek?

To My Church have you been true?


The sailor squared his shoulders and said,

No, Lord, I guess I ainít

Because those of us who carry guns

Canít always be a saint.


Iíve had to work most Sundays

And at times my talk was tough,

And sometimes Iíve been violent,

Because the world is rough.


But, I never took apenny

That wasnít mine to keep. . .

Though I worked a lot of overtime

When the bills got just too steep,


And I never passed a cry for help,

Though at times I shook with fear,

And sometimes, God forgive me,

Iíve wept unmanly tears.


I know I donít deserve a place

Among the people here,

They never wanted me around

Except to calm their fears.


If youíve a place for me here, Lord,

It neednít be so grand,

I never expected or had too much,

But if you donít, Iíll understand.


There was a silence all around the throne

Where the saints had often trod

As the sailor waited quietly,

For the judgment of his God,


Step forward now you sailor

Your pain has not been wasted

For now you will have joy and peace

For all the tears youíve tasted.


To all that serve. . .


- author unknown -

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