Thank you, Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver, a favorite poet among preachers, died last week at the age of 83. Ms. Oliver was best known for the art and discipline of paying attention to creation. She fixed her gaze on the particular, describing it with detail that revealed the expansiveness of the Creator. Her poetry drew readers into her gaze, helping us to see, celebrate and appreciate this “one wild and precious life.” You can read three of my favorites with a quick Google search. If you do not already have a favorite of your own, I recommend starting with The Summer Day, The Pond and finally When Death Comes. You can also listen to a rare interview with Mary Oliver on Krista Tippett’s On Being.

In the spirit of Mary Oliver, we opened the January session meeting with the following devotion, and I invite you to do the same:

  • Read Genesis 1 out loud. Listen for the poetry of creation.
  • Read Mary Oliver’s poem The Pond.
  • Now search your own pictures from the last week or two or ten. Find several pictures that you took, dazzled by creation.
  • Thank God for the particular and what it reveals about the eternal.

Thank you, Mary Oliver, for sharing your wild, wonderful and precious life with the world. You were not simply a visitor; you became a trusted guide.

Keep the faith,

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