Gratitudes, Poems

Whom Shall We Trust?

During the season of Lent, the worship materials for the Mennonite Church suggest a more ritualized confession time, not particularly about confessing sin, but expanding it to confess what we believe. As part of the ritual, a few people each week are asked to come forward and bring their confessions in the form of a poem or a piece of art or a story or a reflection of some sort. Today, I have been asked to be part of the ritual, answering the question: “Who will trust in God today?” Here’s my poem:

Whom shall we trust?
When hurricanes and charlatans
destroy the weak?
When the meek are set
to inherit a world laid waste by greed?
When human need bats last,
long after lust for money, sex, and power?
Whom shall we trust
in this hour when so much has been lost?
When the cost seems too high
for such a simple thing
as resting in belief
that the Holy One has time
for grief about our trials and tribulations.

The pillars of the past no longer hold.
They’ve had feet of clay all along,
and wrong upon wrong upon wrong
has brought the ancient houses down.
There’s no more room here for illusion.

How, then, shall we trust?
Shall we just ignore the lancing fear
that tears our sense of safety from its moorings?
That bears us outward into territories
we’ve not known before?

Perhaps it’s not a matter
of ignoring what we face,
but rather an attempt
to place our anxious thoughts
within the context of the Greater Power.

I will put my trust in Mystery,
in that ineffable presence we call God,
in the Knowable Unknowing,
and in the One
who put on shoes like us
and trod the roads we walk,
and spoke as one who knew
the course of human suffering.
I’ll trust us to the Holy Wind of Spirit,
who hears our songs and knows our fears,
who causes us to rise, though we resist;
in our resistance fills our sails,
the wind that pulls against the kite
and makes us rise to higher height.

Perhaps nothing can be truly known,
no comfortable future gardens
sown with seeds of certainty.
But we can trust the certainty of seed,
the trusty breeze of Spirit
and the rains of the Creator
on these fields we bear within us.


Gratitude List:
1. The Little Sisters buzzing for pollen among the crocus and anemones
2. A fun afternoon of pond play yesterday with my kid
3. This man who makes the most amazing birthday cakes
4. The opportunities for my soon-to-be-teenager to learn to do the tech things he loves
5. Summer break is on its way

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes, Musings

To Withhold is to Perish

    
Images from the morning’s walk.

Saturday’s Thoughts:
“Daughter, the songs of women
are the first words of children” —Abby E. Murray
***
“Our vitality is inextricably bound up with creativity. Like a tree whose expression is fruit, giving our gifts is what keeps life pushing through our veins. It’s what keeps us feeling alive. As anyone who has strayed too far from their creativity knows, without it every corner of one’s life can fall prey to a terrible greying spread. As Kahlil Gibran writes about trees in an orchard, ‘They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.” —Dreamwork with Toko-pa
***
“If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow them to love the earth before we ask them to save it. Perhaps this is what Thoreau had in mind when he said, “the more slowly trees grow at first, the sounder they are at the core, and I think the same is true of human beings.” —David Sobel
***
“What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb – but the darkness of the womb?” —Valarie Kaur


I’ve always wanted to take more art classes. I love to sketch and doodle. Still, I haven’t taken many classes, and I feel like I don’t  have a lot of courage about getting images on paper. I love certain comic book and animated art, and I always find myself wanting to draw “like that.”

So for the next month, I am going to try to commit to doing one sketch page a day. I have borrowed Shaun Tan’s The Bird King from the school library, and today’s sketch is sort of a copy and sort of an extension of one of his drawings. I am going to try to be brave enough to sketch some things directly from life and from photos as well. Just today, I learned some things about line and shading. I hope I can learn to apply them.


Gratitude List:
1. Yesterday’s  Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration at school. Good music, powerful quotations.
2. Geese all over the sky
3. The office staff and dentists and hygienists at the place where my children get their teeth cleaned. They’ve always been understanding and friendly and helpful.
4. Walking outside. I can’t really bear the cold, and I haven’t spent more time outside than I absolutely have to for several weeks now. It was nice to have a balmier morning for some outside play.
5. The Emergency Women’s Shelter in Lancaster. I always have to gear myself up for the long night awake, but it’s good work, and I always come away inspired by the women I meet.
6. The Women’s Marches.

May we walk in Beauty!