“Wintering” excerpt, by Katherine May

Such profound wisdom and beauty here. “It is all very well to survive the abundant months of spring and summer, but in winter, we witness the full glory of nature’s flourishing in lean times. …Wintering is a time of withdrawing from the world, maximizing scant resources…and vanishing from sight, but that’s where the transformation occurs. Winter is not the death of the life cycle, but its crucible.”

When the Song of the Angels is Stilled (Howard Thurman)

Each time that Christmas shifts to the church season of Epiphany, I think about the African American mystic Howard Thurman, whose meditation for this season serves as a kickoff of sorts into the new year. It’s a helpful reminder that Christmas is more than a cute feel-good story, but a transformative call to seek justice and joy. Continue reading “When the Song of the Angels is Stilled (Howard Thurman)”

The Way It Is (William Stafford)

This has long been one of my favorite poems for the way it describes the remarkable power of human beings to persevere, endure, and re-emerge. Within a spiritual context it speaks to me of the mystery of faith, by which those who believe can have confidence in hidden guidance, and take hope even in the midst of personal or public calamity. I just read that it was written less than a month before William Stafford passed away. Continue reading “The Way It Is (William Stafford)”

The Public Garden (Wendy Mnookin)

On this beautiful spring day, today’s email from The Writer’s Almanac shares the following poem by Wendy Mnookin. It connects with all the promise of springtime, and the joy that comes (especially in Minnesota) when buttoned-up winter gives way to the returning sun. Our common places–parks and lakes especially–will teem with people this weekend, giving thanks for what “love has rained on us all”.

Continue reading “The Public Garden (Wendy Mnookin)”

Touch in Church (Ann Weems)

This helps me remember that the Good News of God is always connected to bodies. It also responds to the concern I hear at church over people who don’t like to “pass the peace”. (I’ve read survey results suggesting that new guests identify this as one of the most uncomfortable things to experience in worship.) Yet when we touch one another–in worship or beyond–we feel God’s presence and are drawn to respond in kind to other creatures whom God has made. Continue reading “Touch in Church (Ann Weems)”