Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Pentecost +4, Yr B)

AFTER THE STORM
(Mark 4: 35-41)

Clenched the straining oars so hard our fingers almost bled.
Stomachs now can ease their knotted tension.
Coughed down slanting waves’ white foam, wind within our heads.
Now slowing lungs can rest in storm’s suspension.

Clouds slide back, the moonlight marks the stillness of the sea.
No shadow moves as water drips from faces.
Our widened eyes are fastened on the one upon his seat
whose words have changed the night: for now our places

in this world, once thought so fixed, have been upturned,
and now can happen things we never dreamed.
For if our fears can be undone, the storm we dread unchurned,
and fate prove quite more open than it seems

by trust in Jesus’ word, then many unchallenged powers
might be changed. Though injustice roil the sea,
let it be made to yield to love; though hard the hours
of pain, God’s care set healing free

and death itself be taught that life is master. So let
our cloaks’ wet cloth cling to our skin,
remind us that even this storm-filled world yet
can be changed by love. And let that day of peace at last begin.

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