Sparrows and Peacocks

Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my Monarch, my God. Psalm 84: 3

The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax-collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.” Luke 18: 11-12

I’m trying to plan next week’s sermon
but my mother fills my mind.

Today she would have turned
one-hundred-and-one,
if she had not died
eight years ago, last Friday.

She was definitely more sparrow
than peacock.
She loved Brother Lawrence
who experienced God’s presence
washing dishes.

She didn’t like dishes that much,
but neither did he
and that was always the point.

She could be found walking
under any weather’s sky,
or reading a book.

Child and adult
she knew a lot about suffering.

Somehow in her many moves
she always found the twigs of love
and strings of laughter,

just enough,
whatever she needed for a nest.

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15 Responses to Sparrows and Peacocks

  1. Stephen PriceThis says:

    This is so lovely, and so profoundly connected to pieces of her heart. I pray for the day when I have such grace for the memory of my parents. You help light the way with your gentle honesty.

    • Maren says:

      Thank you so much, Stephen. I wrote and then removed verses about her resilience through the interval poverty and violence until my father quit drinking and got some help for the PTSD.

  2. Stephen PriceThis says:

    This is so lovely, and so profoundly connected to pieces of her heart. I pray for the day when I have such grace for the memory of my parents. You help light the way with your gentle honesty.

  3. Beautiful, May she rest well in glory

  4. msheehan says:

    Maren, how rightly our sweet losses rise to the top of our consciousness putting us right where we should be; neither overly proud ourselves or hopelessly ashamed. Blessings abound.

  5. Andrea Stoeckel says:

    AndThe older we get, the blessings rise before the pain

  6. Dorothy Crockett says:

    Beautiful! Thank you. 🙂

  7. Such a provocative and engaging description. Thank you for sharing it.

  8. Such a touching image: “the twigs of love and the strings of laughter.” Thank you, Maren.

    • Maren says:

      She actually made up her own tune to sing “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.” Given that she was married to a Dachau liberator with PTSD who was an alcoholic — she needed it and she rejoiced when he quit drinking at age 49.

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