Wednesday, October 15, 2008


He told them:"take nothing for your journey-no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic." Luke 9:3

I do a good deal of traveling as part of my ministry and I am pretty good at taking what I need for the journey. This story of Jesus sending out the disciples has always troubled me, since I want to be prepared for whatever I encounter rather than relying on others to take care of my needs. So today, in wrestling with this Gospel story I have written a poem in response.

The bags are packed and by the door
don't stand in the way I am on
a mission, a holy journey, a road
of dust and welcome, a train full
of pilgrims and warriors, a life
of hope and certain death.

All anxiety folded in these bags hidden
from daylight from other passengers
we are hidden from ourselves and one another
but not from God.

We fall asleep on trembling planes and rocking
railroad cars but we do not rest or celebrate
the journey is unfolding and we are hiding
from one another and God and the truth
of our own need.

Take nothing for your journey
he said he would provide and yet I see no angels
no hosts on my travels, I see only
tunnels and tickets and security screening
me for terror, screening others for metal
we are so afraid that we are all alone.

May I take nothing for this journey
that I cannot lose, save my love for you and
my trust in God.

May I take nothing for this journey save my
hope and joy in meeting angels
and fellow travelers generous with their
stories of love left behind and love's
unexpected encounter.

May I take nothing save the image of love.


Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

I've been reading your blog for some weeks now, but have not commented until now. I was very much touched by your poem today, and wanted you to know.

An Arkansas Episcopalian

mamabishop said...

thank you for your kind words and thanks for reading.