Palm Sunday: The Real Kindom of God

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Palm Sunday

by Joyce Rupp

Three men
proclaiming the memory
of your path to Calvary.
Three men
with somber voices
making all the appropriate
pauses and inflections
.

But what I remember
is the Calvary
beside me,
the man
whose body odor
invaded my space,
the man
seemingly homeless,
surely mentally challenged.

The three men
went on and on and on
with their words
telling the history
of your suffering.

I found you
not in their stiff words
but next to me,
a man still bearing
the heavy cross of loneliness and rejection 

Photo credit:  HuffingtonPost.com

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/31/st-boniface-church-san-francisco_n_2592275.html “St. Boniface Church In San Francisco Lets Homeless People Sleep In Pews”

https://www.seattlemennonite.org/community/

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Summer Lament

summer collage

 

This lovely poem by Joyce Rupp speaks out loud what many are feeling as summer wanes and life moves in and out with the season.

Goodbye to Summer

Impermanence,
transformation,
seasonal change,
goodbyes.
Call it by whatever name,
its bound to leave a crusty
mark
on my reluctant spirit.

 

The time has come to end
my light-filled
summertime
when I floated on emerald
wings.
Now I stand here by the
patio door
looking out at naked trees.

 

Overnight, determined rain
pressed
nearly every leaf to the
ground.
Only a landscape of
emptiness remains
where once there lived
contented fullness.

 

I take a deep breath, give a
sigh
of resignation, gather my
precious
remembrance of those
succulent months
while my memory takes
one last, grateful look
at summer’s dewy
dawns.

 

Now is the time to yield, to
enter
the next turning, accept
the stark contrast
of barrenness in place of
fullness.

 

As I turn away from the
emptied trees
I take my generous basket
of summer
with me, trusting it has
stored
enough to see me through
until the time of melting
snow.

by Joyce Rupp in My Soul Feels Lean

 

 http://www.amazon.com/My-Soul-Feels-Lean-Restoration/dp/1933495561

 

 

Calvary Is Right Here

homeless person

 

“Palm Sunday”
Joyce Rupp

 

Three men
proclaiming the memory
of your path to Calvary.
Three men
with somber voices
making all the appropriate
pauses and inflections.

But what I remember
is the Calvary
beside me,
the man
whose body odor
invaded my space,
the man
seemingly homeless,
surely mentally
challenged.

The three men
went on and on and on
with their words
telling the history
of your suffering.

I found you
not in their stiff words
but next to me,
a man still bearing
the heavy cross
of loneliness and rejection.

“Palm Sunday” collected in My Soul Feels Lean:  Poems of Loss and Restoration Sorinbooks, 2013

 

 

Photo Credit:  Edited from The Homeless Epidemic at http://eng105project3.blogspot.com/?m=1

 

 

Bless the Darkness

winters cloak pic

This poem comes to us from Joyce Rupp, a sister of the Servite order who clearly does her own spiritual work.  I post it here because we are in January, heading into February, the doldrums of winter.  As I create this post the Pacific Northwest of America is locked in a fierce storm, with 60 mph wind gusts and driving rain.  Instead of cursing the dark, Joyce encourages us to embrace it.  It is what it is, and out of it light can emerge.  You can find a list of her books and tapes at http://www.joycerupp.com/

Winter’s Cloak

This year I do not want
the dark to leave me.
I need its wrap
of silent stillness,
its cloak
of long lasting embrace.
Too much light
has pulled away
from the chamber of gestation.

Let the dawns
come late, let the sunsets
arrive early,
let the evenings
extend themselves
while I lean into
the abyss of my being.

Let me lie in the cave
of my soul,
for too much light
blinds me,
steals the source of revelation.

Let me seek solace
in the empty places
of winter’s passage,
those vast dark nights
that never fail to shelter me.

by Joyce Rupp from The Circle of Life