This poem or spoken word piece had its start with a sentence I heard in a meeting I recently attended. I cannot recall the specific context or who spoke it, but the sentence captured my imagination, and I wrote it down. I believe the subject of the conversation was what we expect of our leaders: how we expect them to be superhuman, heroic, and yet accessible and personable. The breadth of qualities which are encompassed in all our expectations have only been found in one man, and maybe you heard what they did to him.

Here’s a swing at working those thoughts out.

If it’s helpful you may listen to me read the poem via the player below.

We like our leaders just so–
Not too brash, not too bold.
We like them humble, but not so much so.
We like our leaders just so.

We like them selfless
Who’ll serve without putting on some show.
Not pretentious, nor ostentatious,
Modest and humble,
Not too high but not too low.
That’s how we like our leaders.
Just so,
You know from the start
From the get go. We have no issue
With receiving, following, heeding,
We hope you got the memo.
And we like you too,
We thought you’d like to know,
We like our leaders.
Just so
We’re clear, and although
No one’s perfect, we’d like you
To be the closest to perfect
Of anyone we know—
Who’ll play their part
In our well-imagined dreams,
Lead us in fulfilling all our schemes,
Who is authentic down to their bones,
Who really is, not merely seems,
Someone we can trust more than anything,
We like our leaders.

We like our leaders just. So
You’ll need to measure up,
Exude perfection,
Reflect our fronting, our righteous reflection,
Our confident, prosperous, self-projection.
We like our leaders just.

So, why are you wearing that towel?
Why disrobed, down on your knee?
Why touch my feet, as a slave?
Why wash me?

Why don’t you speak, live up to the hype,
Do the deeds which brought you fame?
Are we to follow one so derided, disdained?
Defend yourself, why scorn the shame?
Why bear the cursings, take all the blame?
We like our leaders just.

So you’ll have to do better,
You’ll have rise higher,
You’ll have to break out
Of this lamb of God game,
You’ll need to make a better name
If we’re to follow you into your dominion
You may not like it, but that’s our opinion
There’s just no glory for a lion laid low
Because we like our leaders just so.

© Randall Edwards 2017
This poem is for Christ’s church. If it is helpful, please feel free to copy or reprint in church bulletins, read aloud, or repost. I only ask that an attribution be cited to myself (Randall Edwards) and this blog (backwardmutters.com). Thanks.
Artwork: The image is from page 13 of Leonard Leslie Brooke’s, The Story of the Three Bears, (1900).

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