This short poem was written by Avery Brooke, a spiritual director and author of books on prayer and meditation. I think it captures the essence of the Christmas season in Christian community.
Mary, Joseph and the young Jesus, hold hands in a circle.
We, with family (and friends), hold hands in a circle.
And God’s circle weaves in and out of our circle while the light grows brighter,
the hearts fonder, and we feel like singing.
As I was looking for a filler to finish off our church newsletter this morning (yes, I am the editor), I came across this poem I wrote years and years ago. I thought I’d share it as it speaks to our many roles in life and how to handle them.
A Modern Day Psalm
Does life really have to be this hard?
I just want to be myself for a change instead of someone else’s
Whatever it is I spend most of my time being.
Sometimes my relationships seem to be strangling me instead of fulfilling me …
I want to be free
I want to please myself.
The trouble is I’m not really sure who I am or what pleases me
I’m to accustomed to being all of those other people instead.
Maybe I can find myself and You, too, if I really pray.
Maybe there’s a place for me in Your plan. Me the wife, and mother and daughter and sister and all the other Mes.
Maybe You’ll tell me if I listen.
Some of you probably saw this one coming–you know I love John Donne.
Here comes my English major moment for the month. The Hound of Heaven is a poem written by English poet Francis Thompson (1859-1907). It’s long (182 lines) so I’ll just give you a taste here. Of course, the Hound of Heaven is God. If you’ve ever felt like God was pursuing you ( and He is–while we were still sinners, He died for us) you might like to look it up and read the whole thing.