To Brighten the Gloom: A Poem for Lent Week Two 2024

Fear with a little hope showing through
Close up of a large square banner with the word FEAR is at the center. The words are all different fears, painted in dark colors. Two cut outs show a few letters in brighter colors underneath. Image courtesy of Rachael Keefe.

To Brighten the Gloom was written by Ann King for Living Table Lent 2024.

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To Brighten the Gloom

by Ann King

Another gloomy day, like so many recently.
Gray skies and lack of light push our spirits down.
The cold wind blows papers along the road.
This is how it is nowadays:
winds swirl through our land
and blow us in different directions.
Angry voices pull us apart,
not only along familiar red and blue divisions
but also splitting us by who is victim, who is abuser?
Who is saving the country, and from whom?
Fear follows,
clouding our minds like this darkened day.
What will November’s voting bring?
How far are any of us from the homeless camp?
What will the doctor say?
Our thoughts blow away like old newspapers.
We feel ourselves pulled into the vortex,
round and around,
until, trying to find our balance in the storm,
we reach out to find each other.
Though winds of fear and worry buffet us,
our hands touch, and we grab hold,
one to another,
glad of the warmth, feeling the strength.
Again we reach, and more hands clasp,
making a ring, a circle of warmth.
We will hold one another against the wind,
against the fear, against the chaos.
And like street lamps that brighten when the day fades,
we will strive to create light
and be places of safety in troubled times.
We will keep reaching as days go by,
to find more hands to grasp,
more lights to brighten the gloom of this strange winter.

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Posts from the office are composed by church staff and leadership at Living Table United Church of Christ in Minneapolis, on behalf of the church membership.

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