The Child Jesus Speaks

The Child Jesus Speaks

my mother bleeds for me in a barn
she gives birth in a tree as the flood waters rise
she is a refugee

my mother bends and gathers
she pounds and sweats to quiet many hungers
she is a worker

my mother calls for mercy
she forms pieces of sky into shapes that heal
she is a maker

my mother thirsts for wisdom
she swallows my words and they shift in her like tides
she is a scholar

my mother fears and weeps
she touches me as I die, her hands like dry leaves
she is a mourner

this is what I ask:
that you carry her burden
free her hands
let her heal, let her rest
let her stand in the wind and prophesy
and with her call
all bent things to rise
and cry out: Glory!

Debra Rienstra is an associate professor of English at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her most recent book is So Much More: An Invitation to Christian Spirituality (Jossey-Bass, 2005).

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