Big Joe was known throughout the land,
“A savior,” the mass would shout;
For with the gods or with the stars
They thought he had some clout.
When trouble revealed its palsied hand
To any common folk,
To Big Joe’s place they’d hurry first,
‘Cause Big Joe was their hope.
It was the custom to honor Joe
With weekly zealous rite.
Songs were sung and words were said
In praise of Big Joe’s might.
“Big Joe saved me from certain death,”
Mr. Jones would often talk.
“That car crash nearly took me out;
But look! I work and walk.”
The people’s faith in their Big Joe
Was evident and stable;
But the strange thing is to aid someone
Big Joe was never able.
For you see Big Joe was not a god,
Nor even a man or dog;
But just a cigar store Indian
Carved from a larger log.
“These folks are not too bright,” you say,
And with you most agree;
But don’t laugh hard, for their basic need
Is found in you and me.
Deep down inside most people know
Life is out of their control;
And so they look for things in which
To place their faith in full.
But it’s funny where people will place their hope,
In whom their trust is felt;
‘Cause idols topple, heroes age,
And gold and silver melt.
We need someone whose ears can hear,
Whose arms are strong and able,
Whose heart breaks for our deep distress,
Who’s real and not some fable.
©2001 Kent Scantlin
Psalm 33:16-17,20-22; 34:17-18