Ordinary Ministry by Todd Jenkins

Todd Jenkins, one of the few United States contributors to the original book Gifts in Open Hands, maintains an amazing blog of poetry and photography. Learn more about him here.

We work, play, casually interact
with people every day
who have unspeakable tragedy
lurking just beneath
the surface of their lives.

Sometimes we’re on
the other end, finding
tragedy as our own.

Most of the time there’s
no longer visible indication
of this suffering;
occasionally- more often than
we probably realize –

thin places show,
where a fresh coat of normal
does not completely hide
what has been buried
in shallow ground.

Stubbing our metaphorical toe
on another’s invisible pain;
accidentally raking across
non-sequiturs of
rage, anger, shock.

Momentary silence creates
complete change of subject;
punctuation’s pause opens door
to overflowing catacombs of emotion.

Pay attention! These are
places where we can
rise to the occasion
and be fully present;

times for which we are created;
experiences by which,
if we resist the reflex of withdrawal,
we are warmed in love,
soldered together
by God’s healing touch;

foundational blocks for
the priesthood of all believers;
blessed sacraments of ordinary ministry.

Todd for 5:22:14

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