the great tablecloth

I can’t stop thinking about Japan.  The loss of life, parents losing children, siblings swept away and gone but it’s so hard to believe because their bodies aren’t there to touch, to wash, to cremate...

I can’t stop thinking about Japan.  The plutonium in the soil, pools of radioactive water, lettuce full of iodine.  And now, as they release tainted water into the ocean, I can’t stop thinking about the the fish, the turtles, the mighty pelicans who scoop their meals up out of the sea.

I can’t stop thinking and praying and crying.  I feel like that Psalmist who quietly sang her hymn of sorrow, “My tears have been my food day and night.”

At times like this, I turn to poetry.  I curl up in my bed with words soaked in sorrow and hope.  Yesterday, I came across this:  “Let us sit down to eat with all those who haven't eaten; let us spread great tablecloths, put salt in the lakes of the world, set up planetary bakeries, tables with strawberries in snow, and a plate like the moon itself from which we can all eat.  For now I ask no more than the justice of eating.”  + The Great Tablecloth, Pablo Neruda


God of tablecloths and God of turtles, when sorrow is our only companion, fill our spirits to overflowing with your good news that weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes with the morning light because you have prepared a feast for all of us!  Help us to feast, not on tears, but on hope and the newness of life that springs up wherever you go...