Yesterday at church, our friends Jen and Erin led us through a reading of John 15 and Galatians 5 and gave us space to write reflectively on them both, after spending time interacting with dried twigs, unripe fruit, and a delicious apple. Erin is a very talented writer and poet– the kind of person who simultaneously intimidates and encourages me. So I’m a little reluctant to put my poem ala minute next to her beautiful liturgy. But I want to remember the way in which she and Jen drew something out of me, then gave me (much better) words to describe what I was feeling.
The root is still there
‘Love one another’
and I do
and they do
But the ground is parched
So the root only taps
moving against gravity
Through my core
past my heart
out to my hands
dark and intense
sweet and bitter
but fruit nonetheless
In spite of me;
Thanks be to God.
Leader: Adam and Eve took the fruit in the garden, tasted it, and all its sweetness turned to dust and ashes in their mouths.
Response: They swallowed it, and we received the knowledge of separation and disconnection, of emptiness and violence.
Leader: We have tasted bitter fruit and drunk sour wine. We have been cut off from you and from each other, snapping like dry twigs.
Response: And still we long for the peace and beauty of the garden of God.
Leader: You have planted us, rooted us in the rich, dark soil of your love.
Response: We sink our thirsty roots deep, drawing up the water of life.
Leader: We stretch our branches to the sky and hope to bear fruit. At times we fear that it will not come, that there is no life in us.
Response: Give us the spirit, flowing through our veins, and give us stillness, to wait for the gifts that you give. As our fruits ripen, let us share them with one another.