Soul sick, I sought His promised balm
And soothing healer’s art.
He quick dismissed my shallow wounds
But studied on my heart.
A gentle salve was not prescribed
For the wholeness I desired.
A surgeon’s cutting to replace
My heart would be required.
In trust, consenting, then I begged
The method used on Saul:
One painful lance and three days dumb
Then sweet rebirth as Paul.
But by more common miracle
The healer works in me,
As day by decade soft He builds
New heart where none can see.
A tedious, mighty change is wrought
Till no cell is the same.
As in the fleshy tables there
He writes His word, His name.


Mother ironed endlessly,
leaving the sacrament cloth for early
Sunday morning so as not to press a crease.
She made the corners meet
and carried it that way to the hushed chapel,
without a soul in the seats.
She laid it over the table
without so much as a wrinkle.
And I felt with the priests kneeling there
on that cold winter morning
the warmth of her iron
reaching through our fingertips.

I Surrender

He will not compel us
To be conquered, but
It is in the
Conquering of ourselves
That we win our
Battles best and
Achieve peace,
Not fighting against
The process of
Becoming, but
Burying our
Weapons of resistance
In complete surrender
And obedience.
Thus giving place
Within ourselves
For the only worthy
Offering that will please
Our Conquering King—
That of a broken heart,
And a contrite spirit.

[photo] Photo by Aldo Rebechi