Before you know what kindness really is you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment like salt in a weakened broth
What you held in your hand,what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know how desolate the landscape can be between the regions of kindness....
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness, you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you, how he too was someone who journeyed through the night with plans and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing. You must wake up with sorrow. You must speak to it till your voice catches the thread of all sorrows and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes any sense anymore, only kindness that ties your shoes and sends you out in the day to mail letters and purchase bread,only kindness that raises its head from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere like a shadow or a friend.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
poem by Naomi Shihab Nye
This was read by our paster, Lise Sparrow on Easter: