STONE PEOPLE: A POEM
This came out of a simple time of reflection in worship, a simple encounter of choosing and sitting with a stone. Sometimes creativity is closer than I think. Spirit inspires.
You know things.
Ancient knowing, bones of the earth.
Slow flow of time recorded in you,
Stories are your body,
Testaments to great forces,
Terrible transformations and
Silent witness to life and wonder.
You give dreams.
You speak prayers and make water become vision.
So many colors,
Facets to explore;
Drawing me down and in,
Deeper and wider.
Come, Come Whoever You Are
They stood in a circle, eight women around our circular altar table, the whole sanctuary candlelit, the only sounds coming from their elegantly blended voices: Come, come, whoever you are/ Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving/ It doesn’t matter/ Ours is not a caravan of despair/ Come, even if you know you have broken your vow/ a thousand times/ Come, yet again, come, come.
“Even if you know you have broken your vow, a thousand times, come.” I felt my heart cracked open instantly. “Please stop, please stop!” I thought at the end of the song, only their second. I wanted to just have a pause so I could just get on my knees and cry for a while, let it all sink in, let my soul catch up. It was all too beautiful, too much to take in so quickly.
My heart was cracked open into grief; feeling the losses of life, the disappointments and brokenness, the ‘mistakes’ and regrets. And cracked open into beauty, the beauty of such a musical candlelit scene and of such a message of Grace and hope for the longing soul, the hungry heart. I could feel how hard I could be on myself, how easy it is for me to believe that Grace and redemption are not really truly for me. I could feel the beautiful release and relief of letting that in a little, even as I felt the resistance to letting it in more.
Strange. Resistance to such a thing as Grace. Yet, I suspect I am far from alone in that. Self-forgiveness is sometimes the hardest. It’s a little arrogant really to challenge the God of Grace on this point, perhaps an inflated defense of control or distorted integrity or false humility, a painful way of trying to stay ‘safe’, an old familiar identity that won’t yet trust this kind of love. Yet there it was, Grace and hope offered to me, light presented amidst the darkness like the candles in that sanctuary. All I had to do was to get through my resistance to say, “Yes! And thank you!”
The great shadow of despair of the Sandy Hook shootings, the dark realities of the world or our own lives are like the darkening days before winter solstice. Yet, I keep hearing the sound of the Stella Nova singers singing the words of Rumi in the candlelit dark: It doesn’t matter/ Ours is not a caravan of despair. What keeps us from joining this caravan, from accepting the ever present invitation to receive Grace, from knowing Light amidst darkness?