Saturday, November 19, 2011

Consider the lilies of the field: Okay, what about them?

I am not in the pulpit Sunday. We have a guest preacher, none other than David Poist, our Rector Emeritus.

This is the first time he's preached since my "institution" in 2008. I hope you will come. He will be preaching at 8 am and 10 am.

Our friend Karen from Tennessee sent this along, a beautiful poem that riffs off the familiar saying of Jesus "Consider the lilies of the field" in Matthew 6:25-33. Well, OK, what if we consider the lilies of the field?

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Camas Lilies
By Lynn Ungar

Consider the lilies of the field,
the blue banks of camas
opening into acres of sky along the road.
Would the longing to lie down
and be washed by that beauty
abate if you knew their usefulness,
how the natives ground their bulbs
for flour, how the settlers’ hogs
uprooted them, grunting in gleeful
oblivion as the flowers fell?

And you — what of your rushed
and useful life? Imagine setting it all down —
papers, plans, appointments, everything —
leaving only a note: "Gone
to the fields to be lovely. Be back
when I’m through with blooming."

Even now, unneeded and uneaten,
the camas lilies gaze out above the grass
from their tender blue eyes.
Even in sleep your life will shine.
Make no mistake. Of course
your work will always matter.

Yet Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these.
Photo: Camas Lilies in a field, by Bill Stevenson.

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