Though All Saints Day is long past, something in me today sings sad songs of thanksgiving for the lives of those who rest in love and peace. Perhaps it was preparing the Annual Report, remembering those we commended to God’s care in 2018. Perhaps it was cleaning up old voice mails, hearing unexpectedly my dear friend, Susan. We said goodbye in October at her hospice bedside. She was chair of the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee which confirmed the Call into which I was ordained 11 years ago on January 27th, 2008. The random inconsequential message is the last record I have of her voice; I can see her smile when I listen to it. Perhaps it was the death in January of Mary Oliver, my favorite poet whose words of praise for our Creator sing out in joy and tears, and often through beautiful observations of the world. Perhaps it is preparing to celebrate Black History Month in the church – and the recognition of my debt to our African American forefathers and foremothers in the faith, and my shame in not knowing more of their names and stories.
Here’s a gift from Mary Oliver for this dreary, bittersweet winter day, a fragment of the poem, On Thy Wondrous Works I Will Meditate (Psalm 145) from her collection Thirst, written as she grieved the loss of Molly Malone Cook, her beloved partner for more than 40 years.
Grace and peace,