Friday, October 26, 2018

Isaiah: Prophet, Poet, Pastor for the Present Moment

How might we listen for God's love song in the world today?  How do we open our eyes, ears, hearts, and whole lives to the beauty alongside the brokenness?  Maybe this insightful poem might help provide you an entry point on the practice of paying attention.  I hope you find more than a trace of God's grace as I did when I read it.

Litany on an Autumn Late Afternoon by Joanne Esser

Bless the slow walkers of old, gray-muzzled dogs
and the quick ones with their sleek young dogs
and the patient ones with rambunctious pups
they allow to take a dip in the lake.
Bless the new mothers pushing strollers,
cooing nonsense to their babies, tucking in
blankets as the breeze rises.
Bless the boy zooming along the path
on his orange bike who calls out
in his ten-year-old, high-pitched voice, “On your left!”
as he swishes past the white-haired man
pedaling his steady rhythm.
Bless the weathered woman in a wheelchair
and the young woman who pushes her along. Bless
both of their genuine smiles.
Bless the haloed girl riding on her daddy’s shoulders
in slant sun, and bless that man who raises her up
to a place where she can see the world
lit up before her.
Bless the taut-bodied, rope-muscled runners
with their serious expressions,
and the thick-thighed, soft-bellied joggers
whose faces show even more courage.
Bless the whistlers, the hummers and the ones
who choose to walk in silence.
Bless the loud, animated conversations between friends.
Bless the abandoned pacifier by the side of the path
and the child who is missing it.
Bless the teen in stars-and-stripes shorts
who rides his skateboard bare-chested,
hat on backwards, not meeting anyone’s gaze.
Bless the lovers, tall and short, old and young,
holding hands. Bless their unhurried pace.
Bless the wind, its small hands that pluck
ready golden leaves, twirl them through the air
down onto the grass, onto the sidewalk, onto us.
Bless the chirps of the last crickets, the surprise
of wind chimes someone hung in a tree,
the hush of wind over water
and the buoys bobbing, now empty of their boats.

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