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 Church. 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:
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)