Carry Me Home: A Poem for Ed

Late last night, I got the call that a beloved saint in my church had his homegoing. He had been fighting cancer for years, and last summer he told me that there weren’t any more treatments to try, and he was going to let the cancer run its course.

I’ve visited with Ed several times since then, and I’ve seldom seen anyone face death with such courage and hope. The first thing he showed me was his army uniform. As soon as he had made the decision to discontinue treatment, he had it cleaned and pressed so he could be buried in it. It was in the dry cleaner’s bag, hanging well apart from any other clothes so it wouldn’t get wrinkled. “It’s ready, whenever God calls me home.” he said. “And it still fits!”

I saw Ed for the last time the day before yesterday. He was in his recliner, which later that day would be replaced with a hospital bed. He apologized for not having his dentures in. “If I’d known you were coming, I would have put my teeth in,” he said with a smile.

“How are you, Ed?” I asked, smiling back at this brave, precious old man.

“I want to go home,” he said. “I’m ready. I have no regrets.”

So Ed passed away peacefully in his sleep last night. There is sadness, but there is also great joy. He is home.

This morning, I was reading in Genesis 47 about the oath Joseph swore to Jacob that Joseph would bury his father in the land of Canaan. I wrote this poem for my friend Ed.

Carry me up out of Egypt,
'Cause my body’s not at home here.
Too long I’ve lived in a foreign land
I can feel it in my bones here.

Carry me up out of Egypt,
'Cause Pharaoh's making slaves here.
He took their silver, land, and lives
And he'll do the same with us here.

Carry me up out of Egypt;
The Nile is okay here
But over Jordan is my true home,
And I just don't wanna stay here.

Carry me up out of Egypt
Swear an oath to me here.
'Cause Egypt's sure to get in us
The longer that we be here.






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