Simplicity, Patience, Compassion

Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts,
you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.
                           ~ Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Pot of Gold

(Compassion is a salve with
power to heal our souls.)

She was the brightest star
in his darkest night,
first child of his youngest;
and though their stories
intersected in earnest
but a short time ago,
it was clear to all that
she now owned his heart.

Her visits straightened
his spine and swelled
his chest; and when she
kissed his bristly cheek and
intoned, I love you, Grandpa,
he heard again the old music
to which he once hummed and
danced an occasional
impromptu jig.
He decided to give her a gift,
though his station didn’t allow
for much: eighty-six, withering
parts, strangled assets, wringing
out his days in a home with
a hundred more like him.

But he hatched a plan,
executed it with equal parts
stealth and constancy,
and, when her next visit
was winding down,
anxiously steered her
to his dresser, splayed
the contents of his sock drawer
like Moses parting the Red Sea,
and removed a popcorn sack
with 49 packets of sugar
pilfered from the dining room:
breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

She received the gift
with a pooling in her eyes,
a thrumming in her heart,
and love for the old man
anchoring deep within
her soul.

Returning home
she carefully opened
the packets as in a sacred
rite and emptied them into
her grandmother’s sugar bowl,
bequeathed, shelved, and patient,
perhaps, for a day such as this.
She brewed a cup of tea,
sweetened it slowly,
and pondered how fortunate
she was to have stumbled upon
her own rainbow lavishly spilling
into a pot of gold.

© 2009 Dennis Ference

Like gold from a refiner’s fire…

it sometimes takes an experience of suffering
before we are able to drop our attachments
to things that don’t matter…
so that we can attend to the things that do.
                                                       ~Bill Tonnis

Taken from Bill’s blog:

Why, O Lord?

Why, O Lord, do you stand far off?
Why do you hide yourself in times
     of trouble?
Rise up, O Lord; O God, lift up
     your hand;
 do not forget the oppressed.
                         Psalm 10:1,12

When I look around
at this world,
so fractured and divided,
I am often discouraged
and often confused.
The strong oppress the weak
while the rich ignore the poor.
Violence supplants reason,
and fear overpowers love.
And all the while
the good and the true
are twisted by imitations
and slanted by lies.

I struggle
to see your hand at work,
but I am blinded
by your invisibility.
I strain
to hear your voice ring out
but I am deafened
by your silence.

Where are you, Lord?
Lord, where have you gone?
My longing for you,
grown stronger these days,
has made your absence
harder to accept and
more painful to endure.

Yet, in the depths of my anguish,
I do sense your quiet presence
and your presence too in
the anguish of all.

You are not making noise.
You are not making miracles
You are making love
by suffering with your own.
And in that reality
all will come to freedom;
in that truth,
all will come to peace.

by Dennis Ference

© 2000 Liguori Publications

Taken from Psalm Prayers for Seniors by Dennis Ference. Available from Liguori Publications, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Itunes, and other ebook sources.