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  • Ruth Hubbard

I Turn Me to the Word

A water color and poem reading video, by Ruth Hubbard

I have known a bit of what it is to live in between the now and the not yet—to pause, uncomfortable and awkward, in the waiting. These past weeks—months—years of caring for my dad, nearing the end of his long waiting, coupled with the isolation and ache of a global pandemic, has shown me that I have but sampled Christ's suffering, even yet. I find that when my grief tightens its grip around my heart, I must turn to the gifts given by others to form my prayer. A long-loved poet who has often spoken grace into my life is Madeleine L’Engle, and this poem has returned time and again to bring me comfort.


by Madeleine L’Engle

I, who live by words, am wordless when

I try my words in prayer. All language turns

To silence. Prayer will take my words and then

Reveal their emptiness. The stilled voice learns

To hold its peace, to listen with the heart

To silence that is joy, is adoration.

The self is shattered, all words torn apart

In this strange patterned time of contemplation

That, in time, breaks time, breaks words, breaks me,

And then, in silence, leaves me healed and mended.

I leave, returned to language, for I see

Through words, even when all words are ended.

I, who live by words, am wordless when

I turn me to the Word to pray. Amen.


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