Cindy Waple shares this poem composed during the Selah Life Flow Retreat in Sedona, Arizona.
Tag Archive for: Selah Companion
Selah Companion Wendy Bryant offers a haiku and a painting in this post.
A Selah Companions offers this poem about Jesus’ washing his disciples’ feet at the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday, Lent Day 38.
In this final week of Lent, Selah Companion Kathleen Heppell tells The Greatest Story through the eyes of Mary in “Mary’s Story.” This is Day 37 of Lent.
In Memoriam. We remember Steve McPhail, who passed last week. And, a poem entitled “For Collective Grief.”–Debora Buerk, Editor
Inspired by Numbers 6:24-26, Sherry Roscoe offers this poem, “After Weeks of Snow, Rain. & Ice.” This is Day 24 of Lent.
Lent Day 7. Today Here & Now editor, Debora Ragland Buerk shares and essay on the history of Lent and what Lent means to her.
Lent Day 3. As a follow up from Monday, Wendy Bryant offers a haiku inspired by the teachings of Dorotheos of Gaza. Entitled “Wholeness.”
Wendy Bryant shares with us from the teachings of Dorotheos of Gaza, a desert father from the 6th century.
Today, Selah Companion Beth Griffith gifts us with one of her poems, “Climb Up to the Light” and illustrates it with her photography. Enjoy.
By Zoanna Pearson
He babbled to himself. No teeth, dirty clothing, unshaven, cradling two small duffle bags to his chest. Sitting on a bench inside the grocery store, air-conditioned comfort on a 90-degree day.
My peripheral vision caught him, and we made eye contact for an instant. “Ma’am, some money?”
I quickly shifted my eyes to the doorway, parking lot, and safety. In my car, the haunting eyes were watery, weary, confused, and ashamed.
Yet buried deep in his soul, a spark of dignity.
Sitting in my car, I heard the words, “You go to Africa, you are going to China, yet you walk by a soul in your own town?”
I began to line up my excuses. I’m in a hurry; my husband is waiting, and I don’t have time. Is it safe? He is probably a druggie.
“There is no excuse…go back.”
And so I returned, walking up to him, I said, “I’m sorry I walked by you. Will you forgive me?”
Ignoring my feeble apology, he said, “I just need some money for food, Ma’am,” not speaking of forgiveness.
“May I take you to breakfast, sir?”
“I’d like that, he replied.”
And that is how we ended up at the fast food restaurant across the street; me, an elderly white woman, and he, a well-used black man somewhere shy of 65 years old.
Walking up to the counter to place our order, we were met with an icy stare and a visible backing off as if to put distance between the clean and the unclean.
By this time, I knew the Roamer’s name was Ricky; an interesting coincidence that my son-in-law, who died at 63, was also named Ricky.
“Order what you’d like, Ricky,” and he did; a sausage, egg & cheese biscuit, hash browns, and a large coffee with five creams and five sugars.
After taking our orders, the employee leaned over the counter and, in a stage whisper, said, “Would you mind if I put this in a to-go box? We don’t like ‘his kind’ in the restaurant.”
“Yes, as a matter of fact, I do mind. Ricky is my guest, and we will be dining together. Please add a $5.00 gift card to the order.”
Shocked? Yes. Until I remembered my reaction was no different when I walked by him in the grocery store, the chasm deep protecting the distance between us.
Waiting for the order, I asked him how he happened to be homeless. He told me sadly that his wife died two years ago, and his world fell apart. Truth? Who knows? It doesn’t matter.
“Feed my lambs.”
Ricky didn’t eat his breakfast; putting the gift card in a worn wallet, he neatly wrapped his breakfast in a napkin and put it in his duffle. He said he might be hungrier later.
But that is not the end of the story.
I drove home feeling both profoundly sad and warmly satisfied. When I opened my front door, my husband called out, “Just in time, I am taking the quiches out of the oven right now.” I had forgotten that he said he would bake a couple of small quiches while I went to the store, and we’d have breakfast together.
“Oh, Chuck, I’ve already eaten. I forgot.”
And then I told him the story of Ricky, the Wanderer, and the five creams and five sugars.
Never a scowl, never a hint of retribution or anger. “You did the right thing, Zoe,” my husband said. “You listened to what God was asking you to do.”
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The Presence of Mystery
By Beth Griffith
Today, I hiked to a mountain peak that I would usually reserve for one of those Washington “bluebird days” so as not to miss the 360 degree mountain peak view. In spite of a forecast of “party sunny,” I gave in to the nudge to make the climb. Once at the top, the sun and peaks were shrouded in clouds and mist.
As the wind shifted the clouds and mist, inviting the peaks into a game of peek-a-boo, I was drawn to the Presence of Mystery. Rather than feeling disappointed that there were no stellar views, I found myself settling deep within me, knowing that behind the clouds, there was “More.” I found both comfort and excitement in this. And hope.
This strikes me as the way of God sometimes. Maybe even much of the time. Quite often, we can only see what is right in front of us, even though we know (or at least hope) that there is more to unfold.
I wonder if this is what the Magi and Shepherds felt as they looked upon the baby Jesus.
Did they sense the Presence of Mystery? Did they know deep within that there was “More” than could be seen in this baby lying in a manger? Surely, they must have. After all, they made their own long journeys to see this baby.
And then Mary, we read, “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19) She, too, seemed to have a knowing that there was “More” to this baby in her arms than she could see.
Where do you experience the Presence of Mystery? Where are you drawn to wonder and the knowing that there is “More” than what you see at first look? Where are you being invited into that first step, knowing that there is more to unfold, hidden in the mysterious ways of God? What does this stir in you? Perhaps excitement? Or maybe fear? Or does it settle you deep within?
IF THIS IS
Photos by Beth Griffith