Thanks to friend, David Jenkins for recently sending this poem below. Jan Richardson, the author, is an artist, writer, and minister in the United Methodist Church. It is from her book, The Cure for Sorrow.
I post the poem here for any of us, that in addition to helping amidst CoVid on the external, are also leaning further in to this ripe moment and deep challenge of the personal internal.
This is the Blessing in the Chaos
To all that is chaotic in you, let there come silence.
Let there be a calming of the clamoring,
a stilling of the voices that have laid their claim on you,
that have made their home in you,
that go with you even to the holy places but will not let you rest,
will not let you hear your life with wholeness
or feel the grace that fashioned you.
Let what distracts you cease.
Let what divides you cease.
Let there come an end to what diminishes and demeans,
and let depart all that keeps you in its cage.
Let there be an opening into the quiet that lies beneath the chaos,
where you find the peace you did not think possible
and see what shimmers within the storm.
It is my experience that there is no doubt, darkness to lean into. The dark within self that often shows up as shame or fear over losses or perceived failures. There can be medicine in that in that leaning, though I don’t find I’m always able to go to it.
There is also the dark that is collective, and showing itself in compounded human relations in very stuck systems. There is hatred. There is systemic injustice. There is masked fear in reaction and protection. There can be medicine in leaning into awareness of those too. Or at least, not being afraid of being honest about them.
I so appreciate the invitation to the light, particularly when spoken with awareness of the dark. My friend Meg Wheatley is one who has often been able to speak this with me and others. She reminds me to take courage. Meg recently did this through a poem by Methodist Minister, Jan Richardson.
May it inspire.
Blessed Are You Who Bear The Light
(From Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons)
Blessed are you
who bear the light
in unbearable times,
to its endurance
amid the unendurable,
who bear witness
to its persistence
when everything seems
Blessed are you
the light lives
in whom the brightness blazes —
an altar where
in the deepest night
can be seen
the fire that
shines forth in you
in unaccountable faith,
in stubborn hope,
in love that illumines
every broken thing