This poem tells much about our father's deep reverance and spirituality. Among his many talents was that of an artist. In the early 1940's when he was living in Miami, sent there by doctors with six months to live as a result of being gassed in World War I, he came to know a Baptist minister named Rev. Whipple at the Little River Baptist church in Miami. He was asked by the good Reverand to paint a picture for their humble little church. He agonized over that picture which was a likeness of Jesus. Finally the inspiration came to him and he began his work. His work on the oil painting was so beautiful, that one of the members of the church, while watching him paint the face of Jesus was so taken that she spoke through tears "Dale, that is not your hand that is doing the painting"! Our father had that kind of effect on people.
I remember as a young boy watching him, as he did every night of his life, get down on his knees by the bed and in silent reverance, with his hands clasped, say his prayers. He always told me that I would find my own way if I only wanted to. He guided me to find my own relationship with God, and he wanted me to find it for myself without the guidance of other men, because, after all, as he said, that oneness with our creator comes from within each of us, in our own way and if we truly seach, we find and we understand. The 'Guy in the Glass' is certainly his most famous poem, but his 'My Religion' may be my own, personal favorite because it seems to talk to me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have and do.
You ask me "what is my religion"?
Now what if I say I have None?
You'll be wrongly impressed,
And unduly distressed
So wait - I have only begun.
My creed in the sense that you mean it,
Has no single symbol, or sign.
Big, impressive, or small,
There is good in them all,
So perhaps Your religion is mine.
My doctrine is any that stands for
The honor and virtue of men.
For whatever we preach,
We're all striving to reach
A mutual goal in the end.
My church is the one that is nearest
Wherever I happen to be.
The place where men go
Their devotion to show,
Is good - and sufficient for me.
What matters the Name on the mileposts
That stand by the path you have trod?
If the pathway leads UP
Then at last you shall sup
With the infinite army of God.