Friday Tea Tasting
The great question of our lives is not, ‘What does it take for us to succeed in this or that endeavor?’ but, ‘What does it mean for us to succeed as human beings? What does it mean to live our lives well?’ To explore faith means, among other things, to search for the answer to these questions with passion and honesty.
Miroslav Volf, Professor of Theology, Yale Univ., Founding Dir. Yale Center for Faith and Culture
Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer
utters itself. So, a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.
Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train.
Pray for us now. Grade 1 piano scales
console the lodger looking out across
a Midlands town. Then dusk, and someone calls
a child’s name as though they named their loss.
Darkness outside. Inside, the radio’s prayer -
Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre.
Notes on the poem:
The argument of this poem for me is that, in spite of ourselves–no matter if we are in grief or monotony–there can be the occasion of faith, and if not faith, then at least a moment of enchantment in our most normal world, and if not enchantment, then at least a recognition of unanticipated beauty, one that softens the sensibilities, as a prayer might do.
–Kayla Beth Moore, Library and Resources Manager, Grace Farms Foundation
Pick up a copy of this poem in the Library and find more poems like this in our book and souls are candles, available in the Library (softcover: $15, hardcover: $40)
An anthology of 36 contemporary poems and 14 theological prose passages, edited by Christian Wiman, that weaves the contemplative and spiritual into modern life. and souls are candles, published to commemorate the opening of Grace Farms, provides a peaceful respite from everyday life, and provides a platform for thought about human experience and purpose.
Find more poems like these in our book and souls are candles.