Polishing the silver

It has become
an annual lenten ritual,
pulling out rags and
the pink paste that smells of wintergreen
to polish my baptismal bowl.

It’s a sterling silver original
(design from 1655) –
made small for a child
perfectly round and simple.
A trinity of circles
form a sturdy handle on one side
for little hands to grab.
M.A.A. is engraved there,
echoes of an earlier identity,
and on the bottom in a fine, worn script:
March 26, 1950.

There are dents and scratches on it now,
the evidence of one toddler’s
long-ago enthusiasms
or carelessness.
But its 12-month bronzed-over patina
shines up nicely as I rub it
to a clean clear silver brightness –
the toll of a year’s journey
made lovely in God’s sight,
an acceptable offering of my gratitude
for faults redeemed,
fears relieved,
graces given
in this year past.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years bright shining…
Remember your baptism and be thankful.
I do.
And I am.

Marney Ault Wasserman, now happily retired, has long been a Presbyterian pastor, a professor of worship, a spiritual director, and a writer of prayers, poems, liturgies and liturgical theology.  Her recent book, “Companions,” reimagines the church’s ministry with newcomers.  She is still a wordsmith and a poet, a grandmother, a gardener, a sailor, and a drummer, living in northern New Mexico.

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