Lord, my body is not yet a temple,
But only one of your fair fields.
An empty field that nobody wants, at least not yet.
But even here the lily is somewhere,
Sometimes it lifts its head above the grasses,
The daises, the milkweed, the mallow.
And sometimes, like us, it sleeps, or at least
Leans below the blades of the grasses.
Lord, I live as you have made me to live.
I bite hungrily into the peach and the turnip.
I bite, with sorrow, into the calf and the lamb.
I drink the tears of the clouds.
I praise the leaves of the shrub oaks
And the pine trees in their bold coats.
I listen and give thanks to the catbird and the thrush.
Meanwhile, the fox knows where you are.
The bees leave the swamp azalea and fly straight
To the shadow of your face.
Meanwhile my body is rustic and brash.
The world I live in is hedges, and small blossoms.
Lord, consider me, and my earnest work.
A hut I have made, out of the grasses.
Now I build the door, out of all things brash and rustic.
Day and night it is open.
Have you seen it yet, among the grasses?
How it longs for you?
How it tries to shine, like gold?
The very first sermon I ever preached in a Unitarian Universalist church was based on the Christian reading “Consider the Lilies.” In Luke 12: Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!
Mary’s words speak of her doubts, her questioning faith, or perhaps your doubts and mine? Is it possible to work hard enough that we might be accepted, or better said, that we accept that we are not separate from the glorious whole? We are as noble as the lilies, the grasses, the ravens. Perhaps it is not a matter of work, but faith to live as best we can and know underneath our daily paths, or perhaps to the side, is a field beyond wrongdoing and rightdoing. What are we waiting for? Let’s go lie down in the grass and let the fire of love consume us.