Wednesday, August 20, 2008

"at ease, at home in air and light"

The frog with lichened back and golden thigh
Sits still, almost invisible
On leafed and lichened stem,
Its sign of being at home
There in its given place, and well.

The warbler with its quivering striped throat
Would live almost beyond my sight,
Almost beyond belief,
But for its double note-
Among the high leaves a leaf,
At east, at home in the air and light.

And I, through woods and fields, through fallen days
Am passing to where I belong:
At home, at ease, and well,
In Sabbaths of this place
Almost invisible,
Toward which I go from song to song.

-Wendell Berry

I often kid that my goal as a pastor is to just get lost in the city among the people, walking about as I meet whoever comes my way. Of course I wouldn't be simply wandering around. Some intentionality would be good, right? Perhaps something along the lines of the works piety and mercy.

When I read this poem I am invited to get lost in peace and rest. I am invited to be at home, my true home. Sabbath. I thought about Paul's words Romans, "from faith to faith" when I read "from song to song." For Berry I think we are invited to see that Sabbath, although the place where we ultimately belong is a reality of some kind, almost invisible, here and now.

This is inviting for one who often feels overwhelmed by the immensity of such a task and pastor, let alone Christian.

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