Two Fumbling Old Cowboys Counting on Grace

Aug 06, 2016

by Rev. Steve Peterson, PCA Board President

As many of you reading this know, Ed Nesselhuf, founder of PCA, was an accomplished cowboy poet. One day a number of years ago Ed pulled up to my house to pick me up to go with him to the cowboy poetry festival in Medora, ND. He told me to throw my guitar in the pickup because there would be cowboy singing and playing at the festival as well as poetry. As we headed down the road Ed decided it might be fun to write a cowboy song together to share at the festival. So riding down the road to Medora that’s just what we did. I had never written a song before, but being informed of that only seemed to indicate to Ed that it was about time that changed. Ed had a way of getting people to do things with him they had never done before, to be better than they thought they were.

 So, here’s the chorus to the song we wrote:

                        It’s been a long winding road for my friend and for me

                        Just ridin' along, just trying to see

                        A way through Life’s Canyons,

                        A way to be free

                        Two fumbling old cowboys adrift on life’s sea

The last line of the last verse is really the kicker though: “Two fumbling old cowboys just counting on grace”. 

I guess I was Ed’s partner, one of the two fumbling old cowboys in that song, as we rode in Ed’s pickup up to Medora that day. But Ed had a lot of partners and it didn’t matter if you were an inmate in one of the inside prison walls congregations he started through PCA or a member of the PCA board, as I am now, you were just, with Ed, a fumbling old cowboy counting on Grace… and by God’s grace becoming a better person than you had thought you could be, channeling more fun than you thought you could have, doing stuff, like helping to write a song in my case, you never imagined you could do. Thanks Ed for helping us to not be afraid to be stumbling saints, all of us, no exceptions, counting on God’s grace.


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