Improv on Howard Thurman’s “The Work of Christmas”

Howard Thurman The Work of Christmas

When the song of the angel is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with their flocks —
The work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost, to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry, to release the prisoner,
to rebuild the nations, to bring peace among people,
to make music in the heart.

January 2013 Improv on Howard Thurman’s The Work of Christmas

When “Silver Bells” in the malls are still,
“Wonderful Life” and “Bad Santa” are not seen
even at three in the morning …

when the tree is de-tinseled,
the pageant packed up,
last present exchanged, first diet begun …

when our college students are back in dorms
like scruffy shepherds …
and our relatives, most unlikely magi,
have gone home by another way …

Then Christmas begins to matter
in a Howard Thurman kind of way —

The lost are found – the deported
and the lonely woman in Starbucks.

Healing is claimed for Malala Yousafzai
the girls for whom her life speaks,
and our sweet and sweating home, the earth.

Then the homeless are fed
and Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence
given a reason to eat.

Assault weapons are simply banned
and commitments given the budgets they need
to care for the walking wounded.

Then peace will come to Syria and Mali,
tomorrow’s nation highlighted on the nightly news,
and the broken family who lives next door.

Of course, it is work, and it takes many hands;
but it is also a song for many hearts.

 

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