James Dillet Freeman (1912-2003)
James Dillet Freeman was best known as Unity’s poet laureate. His life was a persistent search for the right words to reveal a deeper meaning of things. Words rich in imagery and feeling, words that sang in his soul; and sing in ours still today. He authored thirteen books and his work has been translated into thirteen different languages. It is estimated that published copies of his poems exceed 500 million. There is even a copy of his poem I Am There on the moon, left by an Apollo 15 astronaut. Jim’s Prayer for Protection was written during World War II and a copy of it was taken to the moon aboard Apollo 11 by astronaut Colonel Edwin “Buzz Aldrin Jr., and it was with Colonel Aldrin when he made his historic moonwalk.
He has put on invisibility.
Dear Lord, I cannot see—
But this I know, although the road ascends
And passes from my sight,
That there will be no night;
That You will take him gently by the hand
And lead him on
Along the road of life that never ends,
And he will find it is not death but dawn.
I do not doubt that You are there as here,
And You will hold him dear.
Our life did not begin with birth,
It is not of the earth;
And this that we call death, it is no more
Than the opening and closing of a door—
And in Your house how many rooms must be
Beyond this one where we rest momently.
Dear Lord, I thank You for the faith that frees,
The love that knows it cannot lose its own;
The love that, looking through the shadows, sees
That You and he and I are ever one!