Christmas Trees and Strawberry Summers

Often when I share some poem or an essay with you, I choose to elaborate about it. Sometimes I know it goes from elaboration and analysis to pontification. And to be honest that was my intent with this poem from one of my favorite authors, the late Ann Weems. However, I realized after too many drafts where paper ended up in little balls tossed toward the trash can that my words were getting the way of her words. Thus, I only can say – “May those with ears hear. And in hearing may we who are disciples walk in faith - both in times Christmas Trees and Strawberry Summers and Pandemic and Discord.”

Grace and Peace,

Clay

Christmas Trees and Strawberry Summers

By Ann Weems

What I'd really like is a life of Christmas trees and strawberry summers, A walk through the zoo with a pocketful of bubble gum and a string of balloons. I'd say "yes" to blueberry mornings and carefree days with rainbow endings. I'd keep the world in springtime and the morning glories blooming. But life is more than birthday parties; life is more than candied apples. I'd rather hear the singing than the weeping. I'd rather see the healing than the violence. I'd rather feel the pleasure than the pain. I'd rather know security than fear. I'd like to keep the cotton candy coming. But life is more than fingers crossed; life is more than wishing. Christ said, "Follow me." And of course I'd rather not. I'd rather pretend that doesn't include me. I'd rather sit by the fire and make my excuses. I'd rather look the other way, not answer the phone, and be much too busy to read the paper. But I said, yes and that means risk- it means, Here I am, ready or not! O Christmas tree and strawberry summers, you're what I like and you are real. But so are hunger and misery and hate-filled red faces. So is confrontation. So is injustice. Discipleship means sometimes it's going to rain on my face. But when you've been blind and now you see, when you've been deaf and now you hear, when you've never understood and now you know, once you know who God calls you to be, you're not content with sitting in corners. There's got to be some alleluia shouting, some speaking out some standing up some caring some sharing some community some risk. Discipleship means living what you know. Discipleship means "Thank you, Lord" for Christmas trees and strawberry summers and even for rain in my face.

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