(A Prayer For G. A.)
They lost mine on the way
to Birmingham – I think it was –
left me with a stack of reading matter
plus the odd pencil, Kleenex and the like,
all the rest quite safe somewhere in Pittsburgh,
so they assured me, and not to worry.
Even issued me a tiny toilet kit
and told me I might spend way up to
twenty dollars on some undies and a shirt.
Generous to a fault, as usual.
Suppose they did the same to all of us.
What if there was a “rapture” of our baggage
on the way, and all we brought here was ourselves,
our faith, and fears of course, the worries,
minor miracles, that make up our daily living,
the clothes, and the beliefs that we stand up in
and sit down in too, our ability to learn,
to listen and “make do,” only this
and that amazing, quite alarming possibility
of reaching out, assisting one another.
How would we cope?
What new bridges might be built,
and old ones burned?
What might transpire if we returned
to those most basic of resources,
simple prayer and table fellowship,
the Gideon Bible in the hotel drawer?
Who knows what strange alliances,
affections, even loves might fall in place,
what kind of church we might emerge into?
–J. Barrie Shepherd