Monday, September 27, 2021

Katie Snipes Lancaster

Scripture
For this reason,
since the day we heard it,
we have not ceased praying
for you
and asking that you may be filled
with the knowledge of God’s will
in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
Colossians 1:9

A Look at Joy
The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.
The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.

We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.
It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.

At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.
Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.

This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.
Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.

We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.
At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.

Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.

(“Perhaps the World Ends Here” by Joy Harjo, from Reinventing the Enemy’s Language: Contemporary Native Women’s Writings of North America, edited by Joy Harjo and Gloria Bird, 1998.)

Prayer
God of sleep and sunrise,
let us “accept the drift of things”
as we shift and swing
from one day to the next.
And, in that way,
within us build
an effortless joy,
breath by breath,
day by day.
Amen.