Thanksgiving for Companions on My Journey

Thanksgiving for companions on my journey

I held a loaf of bread.
I held it long.
*“Hey, Church Lady, what ya wait’n for?
We’re supposed to get the bread today!”
my darling differently able young men
posed my doubts in their belief.
Would the bread really feed them?

What did my ordination mean?
transubstantiation? transeventualization?
Words Jesus never knew, nor said.

Their eyes held me
Those eyes held me long.
*“Hey Church lady, what ya wait’n for?
We’re supposed to get the bread today!”
Their belief stung my doubt.
Theological degrees so useless here
Would loving be enough?

Other faces, memories rose like mist
From broken bread
a life time of seconds

Golden hope glistened yellow
Hope so yellow it melted and
Lifted barricades, cutting  paths to walk.

Scared as hell my sisters, loving every minute of it…
laughter floating over, under, around and through,
“take time to giggle” “time to giggle before the sun could smile

Prophetic women fushia, orange
and scarlet juicy gems each one
helped me find my voice

Thank you star whisperers
You quiet blue ones
Calming all fear, wiping tears

And you bright red women birthers
Not biology but heart –  in unison our labor cries
pierced patriarchy in the gut

Women shepherds brown as earth
from which you came guiding,
healing with a cool creek touch.

A tender challenge of deep purple
You compassionate and silent ones
Teaching silence said more.

Children mine and those becoming, took my hand.
Men who loved deeply and those veneered (only)
I struggled to learn the difference.

Finally, you intense claret friends
Knowing my darkness love me as I am
Never feared to hug and kiss when I could not

Fearing rejection my arms and lips locked.
The mist began to lift
*“Hey, Church Lady…”

I do not hold the bread alone
Others hold it with me. Yes..we ARE
feeding all with our bodies …that is what we do.

And so I say to all of you.
“This is my body. This is my life poured out for you.”
This is a memory meal and we are to become the feeders of the starving,
the clothers of the naked, the lovers of the lonely

Looking out with those who stood beside me and those in memory,
I saw and felt and dreamed of my lovely community…
broken bodies, diminished minds, lovely souls…
And I said,
Let us go out with our lives mingled
We do not come here to receive.
We are here to BECOME.

*As chaplain for incarcerated men with diminished capacity, our worship was rather informal.

Pat Pickett, OblSB

Photo: A herd of sheep, taken by Pat Pickett