Who Bolted The Doors?

(Elder Bill Taylor - 1992)

The grass grows between the gray paving stones,
And the vines intertwine 'round the rails.
The cobwebs and cracks in the decades-old paint
Have no words, but they still tell the tale.
The mortar and brick, though once steady and strong,
Falling down, give a sound in the air.
And the shingles that kept out the wind and the rain,
Now buckle and groan as they tear.

Inside, in a room once teeming with life,
Rests a still, deathly silence, I'm told.
Although no one has entered to witness the scene
Since the body grew lifeless and cold.
O, some would now enter, those curious souls,
To look at the pews as they rot.
But when it was open, (before dust and locks)
They'd just as soon stay out as not.

They gave time and care to their worldy pursuits,
Devoted to doing their best.
But an hour (once a week) they begrudgingly gave
To their Lord (if not needing their rest).
As the cares of their duty to family and friends
Had a shivering sort of effect,
The church gained new members in missing ones' places:
Discouragement, Gloom, and Neglect.

Discouragement came when the weather was good,
Unlike many of those he replaced.
He never grew tired of filling his pew,
As he salted each service to taste.
The image of Gloom still abides on the wall,
Inscribed on the board with a count
Of attendance that morning all finally quit,
The battle no longer to mount.

Who was there, you may query, to close all the books?
And to dress up the building for viewing?
(The same ones who labor so faithfully now,
And do whatever needs doing.)
The members remaining, though sad for the task,
Said farewell, and I'll see you no more.
Then Discouragement, Gloom, and their victims walked out
While Neglect slowly bolted the door.