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Once I met a man with a stole
Who more than I, cared for my soul!
Like a distressed river, his words flowed
Spreading across every uphill and crossroads
And as a plant in spring grows
Every dream and hope in me he awoke!

As he taught, he did with so much grace
With mouth that knows to lash and to embrace
And hands that know to push and to praise
With cheerful ears that welcome the joy and wails
And a big heart that ignites golden flames
For this selfless purpose, he was ordained!

Once I met a man with a stole
One like Melchizedek of old!
He filled every hollow and void hole
Inspiring all to assume leadership roles
Helping the church realize her every pending goal
As resilient as an oil lamp, he spurred an undying hope

And when he walks down the aisle in his chasuble
In the company of friends who with him dine at the table
As he cautiously tosses the utterly blistering thurible
I cannot so much but wonder!
And for these thoughts I tremble!
That someday, like these flames of incense I shall assemble
In thorough determination of my fate, – For this I brood!

But for the man with a stole
Gearing me towards my heavenly goals
Faced with two diverging roads
Clearer it became that only one leads home
Though my sojourn from here remains unknown
I shall journey on the footsteps of the man with a stole!

Dedicated to Reverend Father Jude Mbonu “The Man with a Stole”. You have been a father, a friend and a spiritual director, you’ve been there to give words of encouragement when in doubt, to heal when bruised and to reprimand when I go wrong. More than Goodbye, I summon the courage to say “Thank You” for giving me a new life and for making me see and believe in the power in me. May God bless and guide you as you continue the good works in the lives of Others.

WRITTEN BY: ‘Chinonye J. Chidolue (@NonyeWrites)

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