Abiding in Exile- 12/09/2021 The Shepherd Speaks

Abiding in Exile- 12/09/2021 The Shepherd Speaks

December 06, 2021

The Shepherd Speaks


You are sleeping, newly, fresh,

your breath a gentle sigh.

I find you after a journey

so long, long with remarkable stars

and midnight hymns.  Angels descending with Angels

their voices, stillness, sing joy.


The walk here broke my feet and my heart,

snapped the straps that tied me to a life

I was no longer living,

that did not hold me, freed me

from the relentless, empty question

of whether there was a You,

and so, whether there was a me.

How can we live without someone seeing us?

No, it is not possible. My eyes are wide,

and your gaze, infinite.


Tonight, I find home, in this scent of wild

arrivals: precious you, the mother and father,

the obliging animals, the friends who came with me,

bundled against the wooden trough

watching you breathe, soft, ordinary.

In this finding, this unexpected advent, I am

over-awed – overflowing - over-loved and

committed to you, now born with you,

While I do not appear again in your story,

I am the beginning of everyone’s story

who loves you, who seeks you, who finds you.


I am the friend of your mother,

the witness of your father,

the first voice of the widening circle.

I am the shepherd who left his flocks

in the deepest night, for one remarkable quest,

chosen for an extraordinary task,

to see you, to be seen,

invited to know how your breath

lifts quietly from your chest

holding all the world, holding all my world.

Your breath, like my breath,

your breath, God’s breath,

swaddling me with ancient hope,

that I carry with me from the barn

into fields of sweet loam,

into the heart of the seeker,

into the mind of one sought.

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