Room in the Inn

 

Streets of Cold

 

Brisk days

early chill

     leaves still suspended

     over chimneys breathing

warmth and comfort

gatherings with cider

hands curved around

cups perfectly molded

by potters who knew.

 

A time for home and family

     the newness of spring spent

summer used

fall the short introduction.

 

A blessed space for quiet

     mind now paced to gratitude

tables set to share the plenty

privilege brings.

 

God’s power drifting quietly

across early morning fields

of frost

     leaves peeking through

     looking for the sun one more time.

Another chance to shine

before winter’s sleep.

 

Disruption stings the pastoral

interrupts the sweet soul

with the other cold.

     The real cold.

     The street cold.

The experienced cold

no less

because of assigned choices

or no choices 

or judged choices.

 

The cold that transcends

thermometer but adds

the singular life of hugs

     by strangers 

     new friends

gyms filled with respite

in shared communion of hearts

and food, cots lovingly made

by the Christ, local and willing

open to the gospel message.

 

New clothes added

to laundry, fresh and clean,

     safe sleep in places

     of worship redefined.

Shared words that tie

differences

a new book of prayers

written together.

 

Bandaids applied to

society’s wounds

     the journey to justice

     softened for 

this time

this moment

this night.

 

Breakfast begins the new day

lunches in hand

new memories for balance

the bus leaves.

 

The cold streets beckon.

 

Christ there, too.

 

 

jackie shields

to honor Room in the Inn

servants and friends,

the homeless with homes

or without.

11.15.14

 

 

 

 

Batter Up

IMG_9629

I
love
remembering
my
very
young
granddaughter’s
softball
games
where
small
bodies
would
wander
the
field
oblivious
to
the
rules
having
no
idea
where
the
ball
might
be
no
particular
personal
responsibility
to
the
game.

But
the
team
always
wanted
to
know
who
won.

Our present condition comes to mind.
Just bigger and older players.

jackieshields
09.21.17

Atoms

do you ever
want to make
yourself
smaller?

become less
engaged
to be more
engaged?

distill feelings
to a core
that excludes
everything but
love?

dance without
moving
to music
unborn?

allow space only
for the
beloved?

leave the world
to falter
until love
finds its
home.

jackieshields
09.18.17

Perspective of distance

IMG_9579

This photo, along with those that blared red,  brought us all to our knees! I have tried to put perspective to what it felt like for the many of us who had loved ones and friends in harm’s way. We knew we couldn’t possibly know how the experience felt first hand….we couldn’t feel the same fear, the same uncertainty, the same camaraderie that offers such solace and comfort. We couldn’t know the trust that is built, house by house, neighborhood by neighborhood, county by county.  Shared resources aren’t bound by usual definitions, rather a commitment to all rather than few.

For our family, we have watched our brother Bill and his family in Texas weather Hurricane Harvey…..closely followed by sister Laura and her family doing the same near Tampa with Hurricane Irma.

It has been like watching a train barrel down the tracks, our families stalled at a crossing gate! Will they make it out in time? Will the train brake in time? What can we do?

At first blush, I would say we can do nothing! We are completely helpless on dry land with sunny skies above while they wait for an event out of their control! They prepare, they gather at a communion table only they can know.

Our ardent prayers provide a way of communicating our love, both for the Christ who loves us and the families far away. Our texts and emails affirm a family connection that offers another form of communion, though many miles apart. Our feelings of helplessness diminish, only to roar back when the time arrives…..when we know the wind is blowing, the rain is relentless, when darkness seems very long! At midnight Sunday night, TV blaring, we can barely breathe for the worry! Tears of relief finally sent us to bed!

It is good to be on this side of Harvey and Irma…..safe family members in homes with power, lives getting back on track. They are grateful beyond measure. We are, too.

So now we remain called to pray for those not so fortunate….those without a home, or a flooded home, those whose way of life will never return, those with no power, those with few resources, those who see no hope this day. They need a body of prayer that covers them. They need our help in the ways we can provide. They need “compassion fatigue” to be replaced with long term compassion and care.

They need us to be their neighbors, regardless of where we live.