One day you finally knew Five women began it – this sojourn to renew the mind.
what you had to do, and began, Then we were six,
though the voices around you then eight.
their advice— Three and a half years
though the whole house Eight books of the Bible
began to tremble Twenty more friends
and you felt the old tug Two retreats
at your ankles. Brunches
"Mend my life!" Two more groups.
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop. They told me the effects; I saw with my own eyes.
You knew what you had to do, This shaped them, connected them, moved them into mission.
though the wind pried We began in a place where we just showed up
with its stiff fingers and we ended in a bond that made us new.
at the very foundations, Today.
though their melancholy
was terrible. Together we filled the canvas with colors
It was already late from the stories of Jesus,
enough, and a wild night, words from Paul,
and the road full of fallen bravery of Esther.
branches and stones.
But little by little, And then James came and told us all the truth of the moment.
as you left their voices behind, “If you know what is right to do and don't do it...”
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds, I scratched out a vision for it, expanding it wider and deeper,
and there was a new voice gathered a few of them and said, “Let's do this.
which you slowly Can we do this?” But my soul said, “No.”
recognized as your own,
that kept you company It was never my intent
as you strode deeper and deeper to create something that broke down walls.
into the world It was my intent to build.
determined to do But the foundation where we all began is gone.
the only thing you could do—
determined to save I thought I could keep my fingers around it.
the only life you could save. When everything else was torn away I said, “This is mine.
No one can take it.” And no one did.
- Mary Oliver But in the end I chose to give it.
Because a good shepherd lays down her life for her sheep.
Because when you delay a death, what is the value of a life?
It was here that I found them, love inside their warm embrace.
It was here that I found that teaching voice, the heart beating fast
over truth. It was here that I struggled through the hard season
daring the words to find my faults and finally discovered what
wisdom would say: Above all else, be pure.
"Oh, the wildness of this night,
It's already late enough."
I can only do the next right thing.