Last summer I attended a poetry writing workshop led by Susan Sink. Her book Habits is a collection of 100-word found poems from the written and oral histories of the Sisters of the Order of St. Benedict in 1950s Minnesota. This afternoon I read this:
When we children were ready for bed, we said:
“Gelobt sei Jesus Christus.” And to our “Praise be
Jesus Christ,” the adults responded: “In ewigkeit,
Amen.” Going to bed was liturgical. We lived our
faith, practiced its words and gestures. It made
climbing the stairs to bed a procession. Even the
barn was a sacred place. We kept it clean as though
Mary and Joseph could show up at the door any
evening in need of a place to stay. We knelt to tie
our shoes, baked bread with clean hands, lit
candles for the dinner table, said our prayers.
This poem is my prayer for the new year: that we may recognize that all of life is sacred. That we may forget our pride and our distinctions between doing "big" things and doing "small" things, recognizing that God often comes in the quiet, unremarkable ways of smooth stones, servant girls, smelly barns, small offerings. That we may "lead a quiet and peaceful life, godly and dignified in every way" (1 Tim 2:2), and in it find that we are deeply loved.