by Paul Garrett
He wasn’t a big man, but he wasn’t little;
so say the words of warm wishes on cards squirreled away against bleak times.
A God-fearing, God-sharing man, say the bibles and books marked, underlined,
highlighted, with broken backs, lying in heaps on the desk, on the floor, resting two deep on all the shelves.
THE woman and he made a way together say the gardens, the music, the altars of blessing. Supporting, caring, loving one another and their world.
He loved the children, though they weren’t his and hers,
making pilgrim tracks across the deserts of the southwest and young, slowly blossoming, hearts.
“All are welcome” the sanctuary sign was branded to his soul and so to him they were, the homeless, the drifting, even the grifting. A few lingered before they realized they really weren’t.
From depths of spirit he annunciated a glimpse of a distant, healing evangelium in words of welcome, joining, farewell; words that had been given him in study, joy, pain, loss, and sealed with episcopal commission.
Something went wrong say the piled boxes of quick and disorderly retreat, the flapping empty chausable, the empty, crusted chalice, the thundering silence of absent electrons, closed doors, closed minds, closed hearts.
Something went wrong says the unrolled stone of the garden tomb.
But something yet might go right says the hopeful, waiting, antenna atop that gardens’ hill.
The Rev. M. Paul Garrett is an Episcopal Priest with twenty-four years of active ordained ministry on the clock. He is 62 now, not yet retired, he hopes that there is still room for everyone in the stable if not the inn. (And, yes, there is/was a TV antenna on the hilltop above the Garden Tomb.)
image: Garden Tomb, Jerusalem by Al & Judy Melton