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A poem for the Pals

John Piper pens a tribute to the family killed in a highway crash on its way to missionary training


Editor’s note: The Pals family, who were en route to Colorado for missionary training, died tragically in a car accident in Nebraska on July 31. At the family’s funeral service Saturday at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, John Piper offered a beautiful prayer, which can be heard and read at the Desiring God website. He also composed a poem in memory of the Palses, who had desired to spread the gospel in Japan. WORLD is pleased to publish it here with the permission of Desiring God.

Dawn

In Memoriam Jamison, Kathryne, Ezra, Violet, and Calvin Pals

Who lit this fuse—this will To offer life in love, unpriced? Who is this heart-Prince—this still Incendiary Captain? Christ.

Who are these treasures to be gained At such a cost, with fiery pleas, Heart cries, unquenched, though unattained? Who are these jewels? Japanese.

For these, how many must be lost? How many die? How few survive? How many willing will it cost, O Prince, O mighty Captain? Five.

Commanded and obedient, They heard your Go, and they are gone. Tell us, dear Captain, what this meant. What shall we call this going? Dawn


John Piper

John contributes commentary and other pastoral reflections to WORLD. He is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary. John has authored more than 50 books, including Don't Waste Your Life. John resides in Minneapolis, Minn.

@JohnPiper

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MTJanet

Beautiful.  Amen.