An Empty Spoon

As you come to fill my mouth
With food for thought from your abundant past,
Why wonder that I do not eat?
For I am not molded in your cast.

You tell me you can tell me what truth is,
But truth is that truth for right now
Is not yours to give.
You tell me you can tell me how life should be,
But my life is not your life to live.

As you come to fill my mouth
With food for thought from your abundant past,
Why wonder that I do not eat?
For I am not molded in your cast.

When I was young you gave me milk.
As I began to grow up, you gave me meat.
But now the time has come for me to feed myself,
You’d rather see me starve to death
Than sick from what I’d eat.

You feed me from an empty   spoon.

About this Song:
Sometime around 1970 I read a fascinating non-fiction book by Sunny Decker. That I can even remember her name is a real tribute to the power of her book. But the title itself left even more of an impression on me: An Empty Spoon.

Sunny wrote about her real-life experiences teaching out of her comfort zone in an African American school. While I don’t recall anything specific about her story, I do remember feeling so overwhelmed when I finished reading it that I picked up my Epiphone 12-string guitar and just started playing and singing. Once something started to gel, I just kept playing it over and over.

The words to this song came very quickly–as did the tune and the chord progression. Probably faster than any other song I’ve written.

I can’t look back now and relate the lyrics to Sunny Decker’s book, but I can and do think about how easily adults–perhaps especially those of us who’re supposedly more mature –think we have all the answers to life’s questions. If not that,  we’re apt to at least have strong opinions and recommendations about pitfalls to avoid.

Although our advice may be well thought out and legitimate, we can be a bit too free offering it at times. And it may not be received as willingly as it is offered.

As Bob Dylan said so eloquently around that same time in American history, “The times they are a-changing.” So “An Empty Spoon” becomes an imaginary someone’s protest against those of us who fail to note the changes and think things ought to continue being done the same old way.

That’s apt to be true even regarding spiritual matters. While the truth of God’s love and His plan for salvation for each of his creatures through faith in Jesus Christ is unchanging, the world is filled with false religions, and if we are to share our faith with others, we must know how Christianity differs from all of the other faiths that are vying for young peoples’ attentions.

Even though we may speak the truth in love, we must make its relevance evident to those we’re sharing it with. Else we may be just like the person to whom the lyrics of “An Empty Spoon” are addressed.

If this post speaks to you, please share a comment.


I’ll be back again on Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the bottom right.

I have free lead sheets (chords, notes, & words) for many of my songs. To see which ones and print or download any of them (not including today’s), GO HERE.

“As I Come Singing” isn’t my only blog. If you’d like to see “On Aging Gracelessly,” CHECK IT OUT HERE.

Best regards,


About Roger E. Bruner

Roger Bruner worked as a teacher, job counselor, and programmer analyst before retiring to write Christian fiction full-time. A guitarist and songwriter, he is active in his church choir, church praise team, and nursing home ministry. Roger also enjoys reading, web design, mission trips, photography, and spending time with his wonderful wife, Kathleen. Roger has nine published novels. Four of them are the now-completed young adult Altered Hearts series. Three are quirky romantic novels (as opposed to genre romance novels). The Devil and Pastor Gus is a speculative satire, and Rosa No-Name is a contemporary coming-of-age novel.
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