Labyrinth: A Patchwork Psalm for the Road

Birthday card (from Amani ya Juu in Kenya)

Birthday card (from Amani ya Juu in Kenya)

Exactly 22 years after

crowning at my dawn birth

and nearly a month after

cap and tassel crowns me an adult

 

I stand at the crossroads and look.

 

Behind me are

the jobs I turned down and the ones that turned me down,

the housing offers I passed up

because my gut wouldn’t settle.

 

Ahead of me is

where the sidewalk ends

and before the street begins.

 

I used to walk

hoping the length of my strides

would project strength I didn’t have on the inside.

 

This time I humble my pride,

silence myself to seek the ancient paths.

 

A ring tone

an editor

tells me my writing will be published.

a coauthor

quotes Antonio Machado

“Caminante, no hay camino,

se hace camino al andar.”

 

In Walden’s solitary naturescape

feet padding to the pond

wore a groove through the grass.

 

A ring tone

a stranger

calls me

to work on the Africa Study Bible team.

the job

calls me

to move to Nairobi.

 

I wanted to settle

two more years at least in Minnesota

but my gut

freed me of job or house ties.

 

There is no reason I couldn’t.

 

A ring tone

my pastor

calls me

to read Isaiah 42:16:

“I will lead the blind by ways they have not seen

Along unfamiliar paths I will guide them.”

 

For my birthday my parents give me

a card from Kenya –

flipflops and a proverb:

“The path is made by walking.”

 

I will be collecting proverbs

connecting them with scripture’s wisdom.

 

I have already started.

 

New things shown

God

calls me

“This is the way, walk in it.”

 

I have already started.

 

Sing into the unknown

I

call out:

 

“If you will be with me

   On this journey I am taking

If you will give me food to eat

   And clothes to wear

So that I return safely

   To my father’s household.

Then you, Lord, will be my God

   And I will follow you.

 

“Like in blindfolded partner dodgeball,

Your voice will tell me “This is the Way.

Through a shadowed valley,

    Your word is my streetlamp.

I wait for your direction

I listen to your commands.

If I do what you want

   You will make certain each step I take is sure.

You hold my hand

   So if I stumble, I still won’t fall.

Knowing you will never forsake me,

    I walk with grace and confidence.

 

“You go before me,

   You hem me in behind.

I trust in you,

Because you are the path-maker.

I step inside your footprints

You have already pressed the snow smooth.

 

“Your ways are higher than mine,

You see the labyrinth’s end from a bird’s eye view.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

   Too lofty for me to attain.

 

“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;

    I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.”

 

I have already started.


6 responses to “Labyrinth: A Patchwork Psalm for the Road

  • Liz Kimmel

    Hannah, this is beautiful! We will miss your regular presence at Bethel, where you have been such a blessing these past four years. It is with tears of joy that we release you into the exciting destiny that the Lord has planned for you – but WOW! Your absence will leave a big space for Him to fill!

  • Audrey Hinton

    I like your poem, Hannah, and the process, and the praise. God will bless you on your journey.

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  • Beth Fleming

    Hannah – you are unbelievable and have blessed me with your writing.

    Years ago you and your family spent Mother’s Day at my house, where we found you rollerblades that fit. For me that was the last contact I had with you. God is awesome and through you has inspired me with your message in a way that only He can arrange.

    I particularly love how you have linked portions of this poem to Scripture. This just filled me with joy and confidence, as I too am walking a path

    Thank you. God bless you and keep on being led, inspired and writing and inspiring.

    Beh

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