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For Days When You Get Lost in the Trees

October 22, 2009

burundiThere are days, too many days, when I get lost in the trees of problems, all clamoring for my attention, all crying out “Now!  Today!”   My child is unhappy today, how do I fix this … why is so-and-so doing this-and-this … in this economy can we keep our son in college … I am fed up with greed and this economic meltdown … it’s not fair what she said, I need to straighten her out …

I want it all fixed.  Until it’s fixed, it makes me sleepless.

On those days it helps to be returned to a bigger picture, a new dimension of seeing, a different posture of discerning importance, of patience, of action and inaction (waiting), of trust.  My mentor John Alexander had this way of interrupting me:  “God has forgiven us.  The rest of life is details.”  Or “Chris, the fact that you’re a sinner isn’t interesting.  What’s interesting is God’s grace.”

A poem by Denise Levertov has been a recent gift.  I hope it is for you as well.

Primary Wonder

Days pass when I forget the mystery.

Problems insoluble and problems offering

their own ignored solutions

jostle for my attention, they crowd its antechamber

along with a host of diversions, my courtiers, wearing

their colored clothes; caps and bells.

And then

once more the quiet mystery

is present to me, the throng’s clamor

recedes:  the mystery

that there is anything, anything at all,

let alone cosmos, joy, memory, everything,

rather than void: and that, 0 Lord,

Creator, Hallowed one, You still,

hour by hour sustain it.

— Denise Levertov

From The Stream & the Sapphire, a precious volume of Leverton’s religious poetry.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Nancy Lareva permalink
    November 9, 2009 12:47 pm

    Appreciated the poem and the introspection. Blessings!

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