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A simple offering

by Lesley-Anne Evans  
11/11/2007 / Poetry

I see you just outside the door
afraid to walk in.
You've tried it before,
come in looking for somewhere to fit in, hang out.
We've huddled around
glanced at you in passing,
and left you standing alone
while we added more cream to our coffee.

And there you are, looking harried and worn, as usual.
Barely hanging on by a thread,
your best effort was to simply pull yourself out of bed and come.
You don't have much left inside to give, but
my judging eyes only see your wrinkled shirt
and smooth my own with an appreciative sigh.

You sit with young eyes
in a face grown lined with years,
not sure anymore in today's day and age
if you've got much to offer in a discussion.
So, you sit quietly waiting for someone to meet your eyes,
for someone to slow down for a moment, lightly touch your arm
and maybe even listen.

And you, young mom with baby at your breast
two more little ones trailing behind,
spit up on shoulders, hair in a pony.
I vaguely remember who you are
but the name just won't come.
Your eyes scan the room looking for
a familiar face, a friend perhaps?
I feel tired just looking at you.
Compassion turned luke warm, arms limp at my sides,
I remain on my side of the room.

The doctor's words ringing in your ears
you struggle to keep it from showing on your face.
You sit, smile, laugh and pretend everything is alright
when it's not and it never will be again.
Prisoner to your thoughts, you long to break free,
spill the beans, get real, stop faking,
but you don't feel this is a safe place to explode.

I watch you.
I watch all of you
from the other side of the room.
I consider what I might do to make you feel welcome here.
But your needs are great, so very great.
I am afraid.
I am incapable.
I am only one and you are so many.
How can I help you feel that you belong here?
How can I speak words that will make a difference?
How can I draw you out of yourself and into this community of sisters?

And then I realize that it's not up to me...
it's never been about me solving things for you,
or trying to fill a void in your life with my limited offerings.
I am simply a signpost in this place, at this time,
pointing you on a journey.
I point you to Jesus... that is my only purpose.
That is why I am here,
For only in Jesus will you truly belong.

So I take a deep breath and walk across the room...

Lesley-Anne writes to share hope, encouragment and small graces with those God puts in her path.

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