Wednesday, November 15, 2006
We lived in rural Kentucky for a few years, serving one church in "town" as co-pastors and serving another church as part-time pulpit supply. The second church was the oh-so-aptly named "Pleasant Grove" church. The church at Pleasant Grove was about a 20 minute drive from our home, into the gorgeous bluegrass countryside.
Life was pretty stressful and hard for a number of personal and professional reasons during those years. I read nearly every book the public library owned, and we attended every possible seminar the Presbytery offered. One weekend we were blessed to spend in a small group, working with the sturdy, godly poet Wendell Berry. Between my memories of the drive to Pleasant Grove and my memory of the gentle Kentucky voice of Mr. Berry, I can feel myself growing in the grace I didn't know was being extended during those painful years.
This week's lectionary text from Mark 13 is all about anxiety. I am striving so much to live into the grace of now. Maybe I can work this poem into my sermon somehow.
"The Peace of Wild Things"
When despair for the world grows in me and I wake
in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children's lives
may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water,
and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax
their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still
water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a
time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
— Wendell Berry