Pathway Poem #11

As I continue to work my way through my books of poetry, I have come the last J. It is A Night without Armor by the famous singer-songwriter, Jewel Kilcher. It contains poems from her journals as she grew up in Alaska. The poem that moved me most was next to the last one, so written, I imagine, in her twenties.

God Exists Quietly

God exists quietly.

When I sit still and contemplate
the breeze that moves upon me
I can hear Him.

For hours I would lay
flat upon the meadows
stare at the
endless field of blue sky
and revel in
the divine placement of all things.

I would walk alone
in the woods and let my mind wander
freely, stumble across theories
on the origins of myself
and all things.

In nature I knew all things had
their place. None supreme,
none insignificant and so
great peace would come to me
as I fit neatly in the folds
between dawn and twilight.
Living in sync with the rhythm
of the earth, eating what
we grew, warming
ourselves by the coal fire,
creating
myself in the vast silence that existed
between the wild mountains of Alaska
and our front porch.

I grew to love the
Nature of god.
I knew Him best not in churches, but
alone with the sun shining on me through the trees

It birthed a space in me
that would continue to
crave the sacred
and demand sanctity
as my life took flight
and lit out to travel
the world.

It has grounded me
and held me steady
in the strong winds
that have caried me
so far from
where I have been.

Prayer is the greatest
swiftest
ship my heart could sail upon.

I am presently reading a book that I think the Jewel who wrote this poem would resonate with. It is The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature by David George Haskell. It is written in beautiful poetic prose. He would agree with Jewel that “all things had their place.”

Jewel’s experience of what some of us might call the divine in nature created in her a craving for the sacred and a demand for sanctity. It does not happen to everyone, but for many it has. So, again, I am encouraged to spend time immersed in the world of nature.

The title of this poem, so impressed me that I too wrote a poem in 2002. I have written other non-haiku poems, but trust me, none deserve printing! I share this one only because Jewel’s poem inspired it.

Unhurried, unharried, God exists quietly
Impassible Silence weaving improbable dreams
into the fabric of life lightly.

As always I welcome comments and encourage you, that if you find this blog helpful, you share it with others, welcoming them to follow it as also.

Peace,
LaMon

An Advent Meditation

John dreamed of the coming of the Messiah. He looked forward to it.
He proclaimed it every chance he got. He loved the Messiah of his dreams. His
Messiah would come with axe in hand to chop down every tree that did not
bear good fruit (Matthew 3:10). With his winnowing fork, the Messiah would
clear the threshing floor and burn the chaff with unquenchable fire (Luke
3:17). John looked for a Messiah who would come in fiery judgement on the
world-saving the few and scorching the many. And he loved that Messiah.
It was this vision of the Messiah that caused him to question in Luke 7:18-23
whether Jesus was the one of his dreams or not. He had heard what Jesus was
doing while John himself languished in prison. So, he sent some disciples to
ask Jesus point-blank if he were the expected one or not.
Jesus’ reply can be summed up this way: 1) Those in need, like the blind and
the leper, are being cared for and healed. 2) The poor, i.e., those looked down
upon as the unwashed masses who do not follow the dictates of “the Law,”
receive from the lips of Jesus the good news of God’s Kingdom. 3) Those who
are not offended by the acts and words of Jesus are called blessed.
Jesus distrusted the title Messiah because so many had such wrong ideas about
the mission of God’s Messiah. Certainly John the Baptist was such a one. Jesus
answered neither ‘yes’ nor ‘no’ to the inquiry. Instead he said, “This is what I
am doing, and if it does not offend you (and your dreams) then you can be
blessed.”
In this third week of the Advent Season we focus on love. But that single
word raises the question, who do we love?
John loved the image of a Messiah who would save on the one hand and
utterly destroy on the other. At times it almost sounded as if he was more
interested in the latter than the former. Even today, perhaps all of us have
heard preachers proclaim the coming judgement at the return of Christ almost
as if they welcomed it.
During Advent we reimagine waiting for the coming of Christ and we also
carry it over into our waiting for the return of Christ. I leave you with a question:
Who would you love to come? What kind of Christ is the Christ of your dreams?