advent journal: bells and borrowed words

    Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
    (Leo Tolstoy)

    I’m trying to get down to the heart of the matter
    but the flesh is weak and my thoughts seem to scatter
    bht I think it’s about forgiveness, forgiveness —
    even if, even if you don’t love me anymore
    (Don Henley)

    The two quotes were from Ginger’s sermon today.

    The poem below follows the pattern of Longfellow’s “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” one of my favorite carols.

    I wish the bells on Christmas day
    could toll and take our pain away
    to ring out wrong and sound a song
    to make our world feel whole again.

    We’ve torn our hearts to shreds, it seems
    and given up on most our dreams;
    as wars persist we make our fists
    and fight out of our fears again.

    I’m not the first to bow my head,
    knocked down by both my doubt and dread,
    despite dismay I try to pray
    that God would make us whole again.

    The ring the bells, to my surprise,
    “The change will not be planet-size,
    you start with one and change can come
    to make the world feel whole again.”

    I thought how Mary’s gentle “Yes”
    and Joseph’s ardent faithfulness
    had birthed the boy and brought the joy
    so heaven and nature sang again.

    “Forgive, forgive,” that’s all I heard
    and something in my spirit stirred;
    I felt the tones deep in my bones
    of how I might be whole again.

    I wish the bells on Christmas Day
    could toll and take our pain away,
    but peace will come when one by one
    we all learn to forgive again.



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