Divine and Dusty: Embodied Prayers for Lent

Tuesday, March 9, 2021


Katie Snipes Lancaster

The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims God’s handiwork. Psalm 19:1

Winter sunlight, fool’s gold, pours in the south window,
fails to warm. Weak as tea, pale as bone, insubstantial
as dust on a mantle, water falling over stone.
The ground outside, hard, white as the hospital bed
where my friend waits after her marrow transplant,
hoping her white count will rise. I watch birds at the window—
sparrows, titmice, finches—the plain brown, the speckled,
the ordinary, no flashy travelers up from the tropics,
where winter is a verb, not a state of the heart.
I go out to fill the feeder, feel silky grain slip
through my fingers: millet, proso, corn. Little birds,
little angels, singing their small song of consolation.
A thin drizzle of sun slips through clouds,
a strand of hope against the icy odds.
—Barbara Crooker, “Hope”

God of birdsong and winter sunlight,
The goldfinch is still in her winter coat,
And yet we sense the warming of the days,
As fleeting as the reprieve may be.
Carry us her “small song of consolation,”
Her singing our “strand of hope” in the winter waiting.

March 9, 2021

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