December 7: A Blessing In The Face Of Attack

Its been a challenging morning for me here in my fifty-five+ apartment. Most of us are eons past fifty-five. I often see first responders arrive below my window and most of the time I am grateful for the opportunity to ponder my own mortality. Today is not one of those days. Sitting at the front door earlier I saw five first responders leave in somber silence, when often they leave in jovial camaraderie. Remembering that I’ve not seen Steve lately I went to his door to check and his U.S. Army flag was gone, likely draped on his coffin now. I let all my feelings have their say then turned to Jan Richardson for solace. Ahh. All is well. May you too receive what you need today.

Blessing When the World Is Ending

Look, the world
is always ending
somewhere.

Somewhere
the sun has come
crashing down.

Somewhere
it has gone
completely dark.

Somewhere
it has ended
with the gun,
the knife,
the fist.

Somewhere
it has ended
with the slammed door,
the shattered hope.

Somewhere
it has ended
with the utter quiet
that follows the news
from the phone,
the television,
the hospital room.

Somewhere
it has ended
with a tenderness
that will break
your heart.

But, listen,
this blessing means
to be anything
but morose.
It has not come
to cause despair.

It is simply here
because there is nothing
a blessing
is better suited for
than an ending,
nothing that cries out more
for a blessing
than when a world
is falling apart.

This blessing
will not fix you,
will not mend you,
will not give you
false comfort;
it will not talk to you
about one door opening
when another one closes.

It will simply
sit itself beside you
among the shards
and gently turn your face
toward the direction
from which the light
will come,
gathering itself
about you
as the world begins
again.

—Jan Richardson
from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons