Spirituality for Today – December 2012 – Volume 17, Issue 5

One Solitary Life

By Rev. James Allan Francis

A photo of a statue of Jesus

He was born in an obscure village,
a child of a peasant woman.
He grew up in another obscure village
where he worked in a carpenter shop
until he was thirty.
Then for three years
he was an itinerant preacher.
He never had a family.
Or owned a home.
He never set foot inside a big city.
He never traveled two hundred miles
from the place he was born.
He never wrote a book
or held an office.
He did none of the things
that usually accompany greatness.
While he was still a young man,
the tide of popular opinion
turned against him.
His friends deserted him.
He was turned over to his enemies.
He went through the mockery of a trial.
He was nailed to a cross
between two thieves.
While he was dying
his executioners gambled
for the only piece of property he had,
his coat.
When he was dead,
he was taken down
and laid in a borrowed grave.

Nineteen centuries have come and gone
and today he is still the central figure
for much of the human race.
All the armies that ever marched,
All the navies that ever sailed
And all the parliaments that ever sat
And all the kings that ever reigned
Put together
have not affect the life of man
Upon this earth
As powerfully as this
One Solitary Life.

Authorship of this piece goes back to the book entitled "The Real Jesus and Other Sermons". The author's name is the Rev. James Allan Francis. Published in 1926 by Judson Press in Philadelphia (p. 123-124 "Arise Sir Knight!").