Thinking of Jacob’s Long Night
If it’s any consolation you remind us now that blessings aren’t what we may think. They might be hard-won. They could put us out of joint...
Because some of you have asked, here is the poem I wrote for Sunday.
This poem was originally published on BeachTheology.com.
Thinking of Jacob’s Long Night, by Rachael Keefe
in the night
having sent reparations ahead
and later two wives
crossed the river
apart from everything
you are alone
yet not alone
for One appears
and the tossing and turning begins
you wrestle until daybreak
the Stranger wants to leave
you won’t let go
without a blessing
the blessing given is unexpected
you leave Jacob and become Israel
the one who comes after
the one God protects
the one who wrestles with God
the change is deeper than a name
you are marked by your blessing
hip joint displaced
limping into the new day
to face the brother you cheated
how blessed did you feel in that moment
with hip throbbing
exhaustion slowing your feet?
could you feel the transformation begin?
you went on to add one more son to your eleven
becoming the father of the Twelve Tribes
proof that God works through all of us
even the ones who haven’t always chosen holy ways
was that long night of wrestling worth
the pain that came after the blessing?
no doubt you were expecting something different
when you would not let go
if it’s any consolation
you remind us now that blessings
aren’t what we may think
they might be hard-won
they could put us out of joint
possibly enabling us
to face into wrongs currently
may we have the courage
to hold on until the blessing comes
transformation takes root
at the touch of the Holy One
and we move differently
in the world
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