Sunday, February 5, 2012

God sends the portents we crave, and sometimes we are befuddled

Roslyn Chapel
ROSLYN -- All day Saturday, and into the evening, we discussed the knotty topic of spiritual discernment at our Vestry retreat. All of us here at the retreat are very grateful for being ably led by Canon Susan Goff.

We've talked about prayer and spiritual practices, and tried to get at the difficult question: What does it look, sound and feel like when God is speaking to us? Are we hearing only our own voices? How will we know it when we've truly found God's will for us?

Today at our Vestry retreat we will be electing our wardens and officers for the year and have Holy Eucharist together before returning to Charlottesville.

A member of our Vestry shared with us a poem that speaks to the question of discernment in a quirky kind of way. Maybe I like this poem because we have chickens at our house on the hill, and the chickens do just as described by the poem. Or maybe I like this because discernment often comes by surprise especially when I am befuddled, or maybe I just like this poem because it made me smile.

Enjoy your Sunday and here is the poem:
Our chicken Betty, photo by Lori K. Richardson
Celestial Favor
By Ethel Pochocki

Last night
I asked God
for an answer,
a sign of approval
that my step was sure,
my intent pure,
anything would do, I said.

This morning
there is a chicken
at the winter feeder
on the railing of the deck,
a plump white chicken
of dazed demeanor,
holding her own
amidst the jays
and mourning doves
squabbling and feasting
in the twelve-below freeze.

What farm is missing her,
I wonder,
what providence blew her here?

She roosts atop the feeder
like a feathered weathervane,
cocks her head at me
as I stare in disbelief.
“You called?” she asks.

I know God sends
the portents we crave
in our neediness,
each with meaning

for the one disposed –
a flurry of doves,
the whisper of an angel,
bedside visits from the Little Flower
or Saint Anthony glowing in the dark,
God himself
to a holy few!

To me God sends a chicken,
a befuddled chicken,
who, like me, suffers
a deficiency of direction.
I deduce I am dealing
with a Prankster.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This is adorable! Having been raised with chickens, I can picture this. And how humbling! mcl