Secrets by Mary Lambert
you trace the sparrow’s flight,
and plumb the secret places of the heart:
bring our fear and conflict
into the light of your presence;
help us to fill the hollows in our lives
and find our way to you;
through Jesus Christ,
from The Little Golden Book of Poetry
And nobody knows it but just us three.
But of course the robin knows it best,
Because she built the – I shan’t tell the rest;
And laid the four little – something in it –
I’m afraid I shall tell it every minute.
But if the tree and the robin don’t peep;
I’ll try my best the secret to keep;
Though I know when the little birds fly about
Then the whole secret will be out.
by Truong Tran
known for her cooking the consistent
perfection of spring rolls evenly fried
her secret to brush it
with just a hint of apple juice
to add some color give some flavor
she is the mother of five a wife
a widow it is easy to forget
her strength in its subtlety
she keeps it hidden
like the smell of apple juice
that reminds me
of my family the eighteen days
we spent on a tanker
the sticky metal floors streaked
with the vomit of children crying
a pearl a day she removed
from a string milky white marbles
on an army issued blanket
a make-shift playground
that kept what was ours
i would have to be good
no crying no complaining
it was mine to keep it was mine to lose
being thirsty that i remember
drinking juice from a can tomato
apple a concoction of both
my mother traded her red jade bracelet
for a jar of water
the kind you drank if you had money to buy
if you spoke korean the kind
that was plain without the taste of salt
she said uống từ từ – drink it slowly
i was given a third of this precious water
the rest she saved hid in a suitcase
“A student is not superior to the teacher; the follower is not above the leader. It’s enough for students to be like their teacher and the follower like the leader. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, it’s certain that they will call the members of his household by even worse names.
“Therefore, don’t be afraid of those people because nothing is hidden that won’t be revealed, and nothing secret that won’t be brought out into the open. What I say to you in the darkness, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, announce from the rooftops. Don’t be afraid of those who kill the body but can’t kill the soul. Instead, be afraid of the one who can destroy both body and soul in hell. Aren’t two sparrows sold for a small coin? But not one of them will fall to the ground without your Abba God knowing about it already. Even the hairs of your head are all counted. Don’t be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.
“Therefore, everyone who acknowledges me before people, I also will acknowledge before Abba God in heaven. But everyone who denies me before people, I also will deny before Abba God in heaven.
“Don’t think that I’ve come to bring peace to the earth. I haven’t come to bring peace but a sword. I’ve come to turn a daughter against her father, a son against his mother, in-law against in-law. People’s enemies are members of their own households.
“Those who love parents more than me aren’t worthy of me. Those who love offspring more than me aren’t worthy of me. Those who don’t pick up their crosses and follow me aren’t worthy of me. Those who find their lives will lose them, and those who lose their lives because of me will find them.”
Hidden Hand by Dry the River
from the Celtic Vision, adapted
God bless our homes,
from site to stay,
from beam to wall,
from end to end,
from ridge to basement,
from balk to roof-tree,
from found to summit,
Found and summit.
The Lord’s Prayer
which art the earth,
Nurturing are thy ways.
Thy web of life be woven
Thy way be found within,
As it is all around.
Thank you this day for our daily bread and sweat
And forgive us our misuse of you,
As we forgive others their misuse of us.
And lead us not into exploitation,
But deliver us
From lording it over you,
And over each other,
And over all our other fellow creatures.
For thine are the waters of life,
The hills, valleys and plains of home,
The breeding, seeding, feeding ground,
For now, and for as close to forever
As we will ever come. Ah, woman!
Whisper by Melissa McClelland
The compassing of God be upon us,
the compassing of the God of life.
The compassing of Christ be upon us,
the compassing of the Christ of love.
The compassing of the Spirit be upon us,
the compassing of the Spirit of grace.
The compassing of the Sacred be upon us,
the compassing of the Sacred protect us,
the compassing of the Sacred preserve us.
And may the blessing of God – the Grace, the Love, and the Life,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.