Sunday, November 22, 2009

to merciful Him Whose only now is forever

i am a little church(no great cathedral)

i am a little church (no great cathedral)
far from the splendor and squalor of hurrying cities
-i do not worry if briefer days grow briefest,
i am not sorry when sun and rain make april

my life is the life of the reaper and the sower;
my prayers are prayers of earth's own clumsily striving
(finding and losing and laughing and crying)children
whose any sadness or joy is my grief or my gladness

around me surges a miracle of unceasing
birth and glory and death and resurrection:
over my sleeping self float flaming symbols
of hope,and i wake to a perfect patience of mountains

i am a little church(far from the frantic
world with its rapture and anguish)at peace with nature
-i do not worry if longer nights grow longest;
i am not sorry when silence becomes singing

winter by spring,i lift my diminutive spire to
merciful Him Whose only now is forever:
standing erect in the deathless truth of His presence
(welcoming humbly His light and proudly His darkness)

ee cummings

Cummings was inspired to write this poem about the local church in the Madison, New Hampshire town where he lived. They say he was inspired by the sight of the overflowing crowds at church in a service of thanksgiving on VE Day 1945. The poem was first published in 1958.

The photo is one of the churches in my town, where the Church of Christ worships. I took it one morning recently, when the sunrise painted the sky from east to west.

Regular "going to church" envelopes us into a community of love and shared life that transcends the everyday world and brings us into focus on "the only now" that is forever.

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