Dad Could Have Been a Pastor
by Wilda Morris
"In memory of Orville L. Kessler"

Okay, I know, Dad didn’t finish high school.
He sometimes spoke substandard English
and seldom expressed an opinion in Sunday School
or at board meetings unless someone
addressed a question directly to him.

But if he hadn’t been a farm boy in a family
where no one valued education all that much,
if he had finished high school and gone to college
instead of going to Italy with the US Army.
or if his sweetheart hadn’t helped him get a job
at the creamery instead of encouraging him
to take advantage of the GI Bill, he could have
earned a degree, then gone to seminary
and been hired by a local congregation or become
a hospital or nursing home chaplain.

No hell-fire sermons would have come
from his mouth—he taught forgiveness,
modeled service, visited the sick, gave greenbacks
from his meager supply to people in need.
He delivered food, gave rides, encouragement,
smiles. Showed love, offered grace.
If he’d been a pastor his people would have listened
when he proclaimed the gospel because he lived it.

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