Arms Wide Open


Arms Wide Open

On Monday I walk with Meredith, who is angry and lonely
On Tuesday I listen to Steve tell me how his son tried to kill him in his sleep
On Wednesday I pray for the father who watched his daughters suffocate in canola
On Thursday I hand Justine a hot casserole while her husband rages, unaware I’ve come
On Friday I cry because Jason is dying

This road is too long
this listening too hard
this prayer too small
this food too little
these tears too late
to mend the crack

It would be easier to curl up, cover up, and shut up
than let in the Light
To turn away from the pain
instead of look it in the face

But every mile, word, tear, and crumb

until I hear the wingbeats of the bird who flies steady,
balanced by sorrow and beauty

Until I see Him hanging,
the One who bears the wounds of the world,
arms wide open


Last week was hard and I am not sure how to write about it. In the meantime, there is this poem. I couldn’t have written it without Kirsten telling me about Ettie Hillesum and Hildegard of Bingen, and of her own experience of thin places and the cross.



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