Wednesday, October 10, 2012


In Spring, 1967, I was staying in East St. Louis and beginning to work at the Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House, 

based on helping the impoverished and gang-struggling people.  It was also supported by the National Methodist Church organization.

When I was in the manager's office, glancing at her desk, there was a small piece of paper under the glass cover.  It said this:

I read in a Book
    That a Man called Christ
        Went about doing good.
It is very disconcerting to me
    That I am so easily satisfied
   with just

For all these years, various times I have had this in a purse, or in a Bible, on a wall, on the fridge.  I have also given it to others.

Until this very moment, I had no idea who had written it.  I put part of the phrases on Google, and found the story of the author.  I was very surprised.

The man who wrote it, Toyohiko Kagawa, was a Japanese Christian pacifist.  He had become a Christian as a young man through Presbyterian missionaries that were teaching him; he was an orphan and they took him into their homes.  He went back and forth between Japan and the States and to a variety of theological colleges.  He chose to live in poverty and he worked however he could to provide for the poor.  He tried to draw more Christians to care for others.  AND he was in prison at least twice while standing up for changing that was needed in Japan.

He wrote more than 150 books and was nominated for both the Nobel Prize in Literature [1947,'48] and the Nobel Peace Prize [1954, '55].

He died in 1960, 7 years before I saw this quote.  And, 45 years later, I finally know who said it.  [The author was  "Anonymous".]

What a surprise and a blessing to know his story and his history.  And he ain't just a poetry-oriented person.  He truly knew what people in many circumstances were forced to walk through... and he wanted to walk with them.

I'm impressed.  I'm touched.  I'm convinced it is going to continue to be one of my main forever-loved proses.


Anonymous said...

Now one of my favorites too Jo. Just read it and will post it on my refrigerator. Thanks for sharing about the author (anonymous).

S. Etole said...

A remarkable wealth of information at our fingertips these days.

Great quote.