This week I am sharing a poem that came to me at the Collegeville Writer's Workshop last summer. Sermon thoughts from the Gospel lesson can be found here:
“The wilderness will rejoice and blossom.”
I did not expect that.
I thought the wilderness was punishment- my exile-
But I discovered I liked wandering in its stark beauty, so I decided to stay.
Mournful wind gusts in no particular direction,
Leaving me free to go any way the wind blows.
It is an aching beauty of blossoms tucked amidst the thorns,
Protected from mindless pluckers.
I watch the dusk sun take a bloody plunge off the end of the world,
And the night’s cold comes so hard and fast, I can see my breath while walk on burning sand.
My favorite cacti is the Night-Blooming Cereus, which only blossoms one night a year.
Wilderness finds virtue in hiding its light under a bushel.
If you want to see the wonder you must care enough to endure.
It is the same in the human wilderness. Not all beauty flaunts.
Down in the church bowels where capital campaigns never reach, a voice says,
“My name is Bill W. and I’m an alcoholic.” “Hello Bill.”
One day at a time- that adds up to a new forever.
Ruth and Naomi are lighting the Advent candle,
One teardrop escapes the ocean of hurt,
While a quivering hand lights a candle of hope.
When my son started to walk and I realized my heart just grew feet,
and is going places where I can no longer protect it.
Please bloom, dear wilderness, in my cactus heart.