The Work of Summer

Most people know Howard Thurman’s The Work of Christmas with its familiar challenge, not for tinsel and pageant and family time, but for the hard, cold days of January in the northern hemisphere.

When the song of the angel is stilled
when the star in the sky is gone …
The work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost, to heal the broken …
to make music in the heart.

So, here’s a thought about The Work of Summer:

When sand toys and beach towels are packed,
and the children are back in their schools,

when blueberries and corn make way
for apples and pumpkins,
new jeans for ghost costumes,
daylilies for mums, green leaf for red,
garden-munching ground hogs
for the flight of geese,

and when vacations, visits,
and even sabbaticals draw to a close,

the work of summer begins:

to make warmth with friendship,
fill the early dark with kind phone calls,
remember to care for earth
rather than exploiting it,

to consider those most vulnerable
when the weather changes —
the poor, runaway, addicted,
homebound, child without a coat,

and those who work through storms,
those who grieve after storms,
those who are depressed by storms,
those who rebuild when storms pass,

and to sing, “God’s eye is on the sparrow”
or “you are my sunshine,”
even off-key —
to someone today
who needs to feel loved.

(Note: I’ve been the interim for a pastor whose sabbatical ends in three weeks. thanks to Nachy Arthur Guest for the photograph)

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6 Responses to The Work of Summer

  1. Dee says:

    Love this! May I use it? I think that my folks would appreciate it. I’d put it in our bulletin under “for your reflection”– probably in next service– the one on Climate in the Pulpits….

  2. Cheryl says:

    Love this. Thanks.

  3. Julie Peeples says:

    Beautiful – thanks so much.

  4. faithgoddess says:

    As one who always laments the end of summer, this was a welcome new insight. Thank you.

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