Books & Magazines

Waiting for the stars to come out

“Some of us believe that God is almighty, and may do everything; and that he is all wise, and can do everything; but that he is all love, and will do everything – there we draw back.”

This quote from Julian of Norwich ties in neatly with a poem by Canadian writer Jean Little that a friend of mine passed along to me this weekend.

November can be a trying time for people – I know it is for me – the days are short and dark and cold – and the brightness of lights and decorations often only remind me of family and friends who are too far away, and of Christmas wishes that won’t come true for too many.

But this poem helps, especially knowing that Jean Little wrote it at a time in her life when she knew that she was going completely blind. She tells of its conception in her memoir, Stars Come Out Within.

Creator God who simply spoke
And mountains heaved and morning broke
Creator God, who with a word
Fashioned ocean, cloud and bird,
God who could have, from afar,
Made people for this minor star
Using just the power of speech,
Remaining distant, out of reach,
God I love and praise who came
Yourself to hold and mould our frame
Forming us from common soil
With joy and playfulness and toil,
Saving this shaping till the end
Thinking perhaps to find a friend
For converse and for company
Finding instead your family,
Teach us who draw back so much
That love comes close enough to touch
When, failing, in despair, we ask
To pass to other hands the task
Of healing, so beyond our power,
Remind us in that anguished hour
That you who fashioned us from dust
Are with us still, have earned our trust,
And share with our humanity
Not only lonely agony,
Not only morning, star and bird
But, if we take you at your Word,
Love that’s not just dutiful,
But jubilant and beautiful,
Love that sings while suffering
Because love cannot help but sing.
When the world’s pain becomes so great
We rage or weep or turn to hate,
Redeem us even as you planned.
Give us the grace to understand
You have us still within your hand.

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