Lenten Devotional

Below is a selection of poetry, generated by members of our congregation during the 2021 Lenten season.

Towards a New Me
by AK Hed Vincent

Breathing hard
Putting in the effort
Pushing, with God’s help
Towards a new me
A new experience of being me in the world
My breath
Breathed with intention
Like in the dawning of a new day
All the potential of the new
Being shown to me
With effort
I push

I see all moments at once
All phases of the moon simultaneously
My parents seeing me through time baby, child, teen, and 40 year old all at a glance
I breathe in the current moment
Meditate on emptiness as I feel the fullness of my chest as a breathe
The god around
The god within
All of time
And the importance of this moment

by AK Hed Vincent

i awake at night
stars over my head
that i cannot see
where is the poetry?
the ceiling stares back at me
with her careful patterns
the window is etched with snowflakes

that will soon pass
i want time to sit and breathe
and just be
just be me

by Kelly Klosterman

Getting It Wrong
by Angela Hed Vincent

Getting it wrong.
Is falling and finding joyless life just another sad song?
And what of hell and breath and the agony of our undoing?
This hell on repeat.
And then the reprieve.

I choose hope.
Even if it is elusive.
These talks of hell and angels and a God that hates me.
I choose stars and the cosmos.
I choose my fragments and my fissures,
the wholeness of my pain.
I choose to honor where I’ve been.

I don’t need hell, I know it well.
The light and the darkness,
the all that is,
the breath of my being,
the love I can’t feel.

Even so, I choose hope.
You two-faced God.
Light and dark.
Evil and loving.
All one.
You are as I am.

the night our city burned
i sat in stunned silence in front of the television
what did you take with you
                when you left?
a photograph?
a book of prayers?
a passport
                to never come back?
i remember the scent of ash in the air
when i walked out to the garden 
the next morning

the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach

another son of God dead
at the hands of empire

by Kelly Klosterman

They Know Not What They Do
by Angela Hed Vincent

Oh George. I’m so sorry. They know not what they do. 
I want to say angrily, “Yes, they know exactly what they do. And they keep doing it.” 
How do you bring grace to disgrace and love to hate crimes. 
How do you carry hope in your heart when there’s blood on your hands?
How do we keep going round and round when the end has come for you?

This is a space of healing, of letting go, and not letting it happen again.

Where do we go where your face doesn’t follow, George? 
You are everywhere, even behind my eyelids.
You are now both symbol and ancestor. 

You were not an image or an icon in life.
You were like me, human, flawed, loved, hated, belonging and not belonging in turn.
To see hate play out for you, broke our hearts. 
We still mourn your loss, you, a man I will never meet. 
The man who, like some great artists, is more recognized after death.

How do we hold this? 
How do we do right by you now? 
How does anyone possibly atone for such an act?

And I stand back. Further still. Even further.
In that space, with that breath between us, I can say…

George. Thank you for making your souls contract. 
We are forever changed and indebted to you for your sacrifice. 
Rest now.

We have work to do.
We will do our best not to squander your gift.

A cat
is not a bad alarm clock
She will not wake you
for anything
less than necessity
the impulse of embodied bliss.

by Chris Kliesen Wehrman

I write with no punctuation no periods comas semicolons to slow my pace like running outside on a negative fifteen degree night the pace exhilarating in the cold as I breathe through my face mask at a pace that says hurry get out of the cold and into the contrast of a safe warm building then shaking off the cold as I walk through the door the excitement of the pace inspiring like space between clouds on a canvas or clouds in a sky the divine with me removing the obstacles so that my run will be like the freedom I feel in a world without punctuation

by AK Hed Vincent