Threads lost and found…

Yesterday, the 28th Annual Festival Gathering of the Alliance of Baptists to a close with a joint worship service with our hosts, the Northside Drive Baptist redthread8Church.  As a kind of benediction to the work and learning that had occurred during these past days, we heard the words of Mahan Siler, one of the movement’s founders.

I’m going to have a lot to say about his words to us and so much more that touched my faith and the ways I live that faith in this world during this gathering, but for now, on this Monday morning after, I wanted to share with you the poem that he shared with us.  It is a really good poem for a Monday, with the week and all the possibility it holds spread before us:

The Way It Is
There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.
(William Stafford, from The Way It Is, 1998)
I don’t know about you, but I needed the reminder.  And I’m writing it down because, well, I’m sure that I will need it again.  Right now, I am just grateful that there is a movement like the Alliance of Baptists around to remind me to find my thread and to follow it without fail, and to remind me that it is my obligation, born out of my relationship with my God, to do so.
After the experience of the last few days, all I have to say is…Amen.


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