My fingers ache
from the cold
and for those
who cannot come in
from the cold.
My heart aches for family, friends
and people I have not met, will never meet,
who heavy loads bear:
illness and sorrow
grief, pain and worry.
My soul aches for God’s children
in this city and around the world
who endure violence,
overt or structured
this day, every day.
And I wonder,
is there a balm?
7 January 2014
Shire Near the Hudson
I knew Mary Mikhael before, but what we did together today – or more accurately what I witnessed her do – has forged a new level of friendship.
Mary is from the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon. Until 2011, she served as the president of the Near East School of Theology in Beirut. After her retirement,the church has named her their interpreter and communicator in this time of tragedy and crisis for the people of Syria.
Today Mary and I went from New York to DC to meet five legislators and a State Department Official. Catherine Gordon in the Presbyterian Office of Public Witness arranged the visits.
I am now standing, well actually I am sitting on a train back to NYC, in awe of Mary’s courage and grace and strength as she told the story of heartbreak and horror and hope six times. A story she has lived. A story she is living. A story that develops as she tells it. She is exhausted and sleeps beside me.
Come tomorrow, she will again tell the story of the people and church of Syria. This time she will tell the story for a video project and in the UN community.
Come tomorrow, she will recall and relieve the tragedy.
Come tomorrow, she will renew the hope.
Come tomorrow, she will again exhaust herself in witness to her faith and on behalf of her people and church and country.
Come tomorrow, I will again stand in awe.
Come tomorrow, I will weep and smile and pray for peace and justice.
See you along the Trail.
I purchased a ticket to go to Korea;
the church there has invited me to come
and speak about engagement in the
My heart broke for women who
endure a culture of rape and violence;
for children who cry to sleep
with nothing to eat;
for peoples whose countries are
torn by war;
for sisters and brothers I do not know
who are violated in ways I
I raised a glass in memory of my father
who died 39 years ago
I spent significant time doing laundry and
Of such is life.
See you along the Trail.
Filed under New York, Travel
I cannot imagine the pain
I witness from a distance
I have no first-hand experience
as I hear the news from
the Nuba Mountains
As I know
my sisters and brothers
nearby and far away
My heart breaks – anew – tonight
my heart breaks – again – tonight
my heart breaks – still – tonight
And I wonder
how much pain
can the hearts of
individuals and communities
ripped by violence
5 August 2012
Shire on the Hudson