Embrace

Salvation is not escape
The prison door swings open
but we walk into
life in excess of what we can manage or control,
accepting the consequences.

Enter the mess of chaos,
no forcing,
no bullying.
Pay attention
Name the gathering,
the shards and splinters of broken lives:
A face, a rustle in the trees
A dragonfly, an old man’s gesture
A forced march across a desert

There it is–

Work quietly and gently,
No yelling,
No invective.
Accept.
Submit to the conditions.
There it is: beautiful

Take it to the altar of sacrifice
Make an offering of it.

Beauty does not impose.
It is a meaningless word
to those in control—
doesn’t explain anything
reveals what has been there all along

But there is always more
A storm crashing through mountains
An accident
Wounding and bruising of all sorts
A new creation in Jerusalem, in Babylon

Live in a mystery
not in confusion.
Embrace,
a deep, reconciling embrace
of all that is wrong.

Found in Eugene Peterson’s The Jesus Way,
“Isaiah of the Exile: ‘How Beautiful on the Mountains’”
Arranged 13 December 2009

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