little bit of lagniappe

reflecting on everyday grace

“The Art of Facing Things”

This weekend, while reading Krista Tippett’s On Being blog (thank you, Bo!), I stumbled across the writings of a fellow named Mark Repo.  His books are now sitting eagerly in my Amazon cart, and I feel compelled to share a poem I found in one of them called Reduced to Joy.  That title alone grips my heart, as in spite of the strength I try to project, I often feel “reduced” these days, struggling with continued human hurts, fears, and challenges.  However, it is in that very vulnerable place that I learn and relearn daily that I must lean in to both the pain and the greater Grace that carries us through.

“The Art of Facing Things”

By Mark Repo 

There have been times I’ve been hurtful or
forgotten who you are, times I’ve mistaken
you for one of the dark faces I’ve never put to
rest. Times you’ve done the same. Times we’ve
worked out our pain or fear, using each other
as the block of wood to carve our way to truth;
feeling awful when we remember that the one
we carve is the one who has loved us through

But this is the messy art of facing things:
knocking over what I love with what
I avoid; only to learn again that
this is not of our timing.

It doesn’t matter what thorns we carry
or how we squirm to avoid their pain.
We unfold as long as we love,
pried into blossom.


That last stanza (I took the liberty of making it bold) leaves me breathless with closed eyes, soft, purging tears, and open palms whose pulse knows the joy and love for which we were made.

Let us unfold this day…in love and in hope and in eventual blossom.


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