Daring Trusting Caring

(Note: One of manifold reflections on years upon years of ordained ministry)

open door

Trembling, I have stood at the portal of many a sister
or a brother
of my family
(not of blood, but of the shared mortality
of humankind)
who had called unto to me
bidding my entry into their lives.

Whate’er my fears…

(sundry they have been
and are:
of bare-handed inadequacy,
of thought benumbed,
of dumb tongue,
of formless, wordless prayers careening, crashing into unbending erotemes
or trailing as endless ellipses into shadowy vistas
where clarity, in changeless disguise, has but one name: ambiguity)

…aside they were placed
(no, more truly, quietly, yet not as obscurely as I desired, kept;
yea, closely, heavily borne)
as cross’d I the threshold of gracious, audacious privilege
to listen, yet more (and, genuinely, only)
to be present
as another flesh and blood
wrestler with life,
at times, sightless and senseless, a failure at the unremitting war with guilt and shame,
yet, in the embrace of God’s Spirit, my soul-full poverty lost,
a lover of souls…

that last being all I had,
thus, e’en when I wished I had more,
always, in faith, trusting, being enough.

2 thoughts on “Daring Trusting Caring

  1. Paul,
    For so many years you’ve been present for and listened to so many individuals, parishioners or not. I’m amazed at how much energy that must take. I know I feel inadequate at times when people seek me out for caregiving advice. But that’s nothing compared to the life issues people bring to you. They’re lucky to have you!

    Much love


  2. Loretta, thank you for your kind response.

    As I consider your reply, I think we well can compare our experiences of folk seeking us out for counsel – me for years as an ordained minister and you for years in security (and continuing) and now, additionally, caregiving for dementia patients and their caregivers. As I view it, we humans always have need of information and care, whatever the time, whatever the place, whatever the circumstance, and whatever the subject. And no matter the concern, there is, at times, a depth of urgency that cuts across and through all matters.

    I write all this so to confirm that there is a blessedness for any of us who plays the role of kindly counsel.

    With love and thanksgiving for you

    Liked by 1 person

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