We form something of a circle
at the south end of the room,
a dozen souls or so on soft seats,
metal folding chairs,
and the piano bench.
Contemplating the Sustaining Presence of God,
we share stories of tough times,
and how we’ve made it through
what seemed like more than enough testing
and how we’ve been shaped
by the Potter’s Hand.
Our ages stand from eight to eighty
and yet we see
that we all have been touched by loss.
The boy sitting sprawled across his father’s lap
talks about missing his grandma
and the grandmother sitting in front of the window
still feels guilty about the way she feels
her intended consideration may have contributed
to her elderly mother’s gracious passing.
We sort through as best we can
our own attempts at understanding,
knowing that our landings
often fall a bit short of the guiding light.
And even though we might often feel
that we are considerably less than conquerors,
we still know that there is no power,
trouble, hardship, persecution or affliction
that can separate us
from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.
In this brief sharing of tears and stories,
we know that we are already brought closer
to one another
and I am thinking that our church
and the larger world should spend
less time separated by easy markers
and more time seeing that pain and comfort
and most other self-imposed separations
that we use to keep from seeing and knowing