Quote of the Week

We held our first Spanish-language service last Sunday.
Best line I heard all week:
“Thank you for making a space for us.”
I near cried.

Posted in community | Leave a comment

What You Really Want for Christmas

Maybe a year of waiting,
a year perhaps
of tending to everyone else’s stuff –
of feeling at times
like you are standing alone on a hill
watching over your flock,
and while you are happy to do it –
grateful to be able to do it –
you see in your reflection
the toll it has taken,
the effect of that wind on your face.

Or maybe you’ve had a year
not of having too much,
but of having too much unshared,
arms tired.
It is exhausting
carrying one’s gifts,
not knowing where to set them down.

Or maybe you’ve had a year
of news dropped on you
you’re still trying to figure out
what your response to it should be,
feeling you ought to know the answer by now,
but there it is every day again, the same puzzling.

What you really want
under the tree
is a break from the free fall
you are in.
You aren’t holding out much hope for it.

All the more reason to come and meet again
those on hills, tending flocks,
those traveling long, bearing gifts
destination unknown (same as you) –
those having news dropped on them
and needing to find their responses,
those who have waited a very, very long time.

All the more reason to light a candle
or let someone else
and to hear again,
bit by bit,
the story.

the chance to rediscover
you aren’t the only one.

There is a spot for you
in the crowd,
a spot that has maybe
gone empty
you feel you know the story too well.

By just such thinking as this
so many are kept in isolation long.
Step out of isolation and into the story, familiar yet new.

* * *

This post first appeared in December 2011. Thank you for reading.

Posted in Advent, Christmas, most excellent gifts, poems | Leave a comment

From One Sunday to the Next

we don’t know.

We don’t know what a person
has gone through,
the person in front of us,
behind us,
beside us,
with two Sundays serving as bookends.

We don’t know
the gains,
the losses,

where hope increased,
where it all but disappeared,

the unexpected good news that came
or the call they weren’t quite ready for.

We don’t know
what fell on another’s ears,
words of encouragement
or words that wound.

We don’t know
if a single chat with a close friend
was savored the entire week
or if endless hours of social networking
heightened feelings of isolation.

We don’t know someone else’s need.
We barely know our own at times.

And so, to be MINDFUL
of our not knowing.
A good first step, that.

This post originally appeared in 2010. 


Posted in community, compassion, friendship, neighbor, people, poems, relationship | 3 Comments