2020:Beacons

Darkness is not prevailing

Covid 19 fell like an avalanche
wiping out practices of life as we knew them.

Racial unrest surged—
the dam broke:its torrents of pain and violence
carving tortuous new paths through community.

Brick and mortar rubble:
fires and tornadoes, and air-sucking anxieties
darkened the atmosphere.
But darkness is not prevailing.

Real people unfolded wallets and schedules from their safety nests
the kindling of kindness burgeoning in their chests
as match to wick
kindness set candles of compassion aglow
in the darkness - like question marks.

Kindness is the middle child
sweetness by which the Spirit of Holiness tutors us
in how to live
and grow
hemmed in, yet disconnected from one another

Middle child in the house down the street
kissed the Stone called Selflessness, and asked
Mommy, how can I help?
Nickels and dimes gleam in the grand scheme of things
winging like iridescent butterflies.

Hidden neighbors, hungry for righteousness (it's taste not wholly familiar)
felt the palpable thirst of colored skin
and asked the Keeper of the storehouses of snow and hail,
Won't you fill the deep racial crevasse?
Shovel in hand, Won't you fill...?

A stick cross middles the hill 
marginalized outside of town;
outside of belonging or protective walls, outside of resources.
A lone transceiver picks up the signal of hearts in distress. 

Kindness kindles
Compassion roars into flame - jumps another crevasse.
It is finished.

We are the embers of this eternal flame
from which hope is born, and reborn

Kindling of kindness finding the margins—Hope is reborn.

jfig   10/2020

Often we feel marginalized, either in our distress; or in our ability to help. I've experienced both this week, my energy dampened by weariness and discouragement. When I sent out a quiet distress signal, asking people for help, it was the small measures offered with kindness, that made a huge difference and reset my outlook. An email saying I am praying for you, a shared moment of laughter, a flower intentionally put in my hand and another gently taken from it all pulled me back from the brink of despair, and filled me with both gratitude and hope. There was some chocolate, too. But since it is still in the wrapper, it was the kindness of the gesture and NOT the chocolate that made my heart happy. 
We are all on journey, some aspects long and wearying, others glorious and exciting. You may get to travel only a short leg with someone. Remember the kindling. Another's matches may be all wet.

Ephesians 2:4-7 says that God gifts to us the riches of his mercy and grace...in kindness toward us through Jesus Christ.
Lord Jesus, might we, by the power and leading of the Holy Spirit, celebrate and emulate God's gifting of kindness toward us, and thereby become couriers of his mercy and grace. Amen

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