Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 78 which calls on the community to remember God’s constant gifts to us. Those gifts are symbolized in bread, manna from Heaven.
Thinking about the symbol of bread, this wonderful poem by Mary Oliver captured my prayer today. I leave it with you without additional comment to find your own place within it.
As I prayed with the poem, I began drawing a mandala … but it turned into an icon! (Who knew!😀) Each segment holds a memory or awareness of a particular gift God has given me.
Icons, like poems, allow the receiver a certain amount of interpretation. For example, is the figure here God, an Angel, me – or someone else? It’s up to you … enjoy the sacred play.
I hope this poem will offer you a doorway to your prayer as well.
Eat bread and understand comfort.
Drink water, and understand delight.
Visit the garden where the scarlet trumpets
are opening their bodies for the hummingbirds
who are drinking the sweetness, who are
For one thing leads to another.
Soon you will notice how stones shine underfoot.
Eventually tides will be the only calendar you believe in.
And you will hear the air itself, like a beloved, whisper
Oh let me, for a while longer, enter the two
Beautiful bodies of your lungs…
The witchery of living
is my whole conversation
with you, my darlings.
All I can tell you is what I know.
Look, and look again.
This world is not just a little thrill for your eyes.
It’s more than bones.
It’s more than the delicate wrist with its personal pulse.
It’s more than the beating of a single heart.
It’s giving until the giving feels like receiving.
You have a life–just imagine that!
You have this day, and maybe another, and maybe
We do one thing or another; we stay the same, or we
you have changed.
Let me ask you this.
Do you also think that beauty exists for some
And, if you have not been enchanted by this adventure–
what would do for you?
What I loved in the beginning, I think, was mostly myself.
Never mind that I had to, since somebody had to.
That was many years ago.
Since then I have gone out from my confinements,
though with difficulty.
I mean the ones that thought to rule my heart.
I cast them out; I put them on the mush pile.
They will be nourishment somehow (everything is nourishment
somehow or another).
And I have become the child of the clouds, and of hope.
I have become the friend of the enemy, whoever that is.
I have become older and, cherishing what I have learned,
I have become younger.
And what do I risk to tell you this, which is all I know?
Love yourself. Then forget it. Then, love the world.
Music: Break Thou the Bread of Life by Mary A. Lathbury (1877), and sung beautifully here by Acapeldridge