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Allan Tibbels: A Bridge Over Troubled Waters

June 9, 2010

Verlister Shields wrote this poem while she was at the Summer Institute, a tribute to Allan Tibbels, co-founder of New Song Ministries, who died in Baltimore during the institute (see my blog post).  Verlister, a recovering addict who found freedom through the Martha’s Place ministry in Baltimore, told me how much she will miss her friend.  “The black addict and the white quadriplegic,” she laughed through her tears.  The Baltimore Sun reports that former drug dealers and gang members are streaming into Allan Tibbels’ home without knocking … a glimpse of “God’s new we.”  The line near the end is a reference to the institute t-shirt Verlista wore while she read the poem:  “Got Conflict?  Pass the Peace.”

Like A Bridge Over Troubled Waters

By Verlister Shields

Sometimes God has used you to trouble the waters

You’d dive deep, not just wet your feet.

Through the muck and miry clay,

God seemed always to show you the way to continue on another day.

Like a bridge over troubled waters

When others turned and walked away

You and your family purposed to stay

And now God has called you away.

Oh, yes, we all may have wanted you to stay

But today Allan we release you and pray,

Because it’s not our time but yours to play.

Now while you’re with Jesus:

Go Run, Jump, and Play,

You’ve already shown us the way.

And until our work is done,

We’ll stay right here and try to live as one.

But until then, like you, we too will be

Like a bridge over troubled waters.

Or maybe we’ll even trouble some waters!

Got Conflict?  Pass the Peace.

Like a bridge over troubled waters.

About the Author: Verlister Shields serves on the staff of Newborn Ministries and Martha’s Place in Baltimore, Maryland.

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