Fierce Embrace

[By Kim Marrow]

It doesn’t interest me if there is one God
or many gods.
I want to know if you belong or feel
If you know despair or can see it in others.
I want to know if you are prepared to live in the world
with its harsh need
to change you. If you can look back
with firm eyes
saying this is where I stand. I want to know
if you know
how to melt into that fierce heat of living
falling toward
the center of your longing. I want to know
if you are willing
to live, day by day, with the consequence of love
and the bitter
unwanted passion of your sure defeat.

I have heard, in _that_ fierce embrace, even
the gods speak of God.

–David Whyte, “Self-Portrait”

I came across this poem again yesterday and it brought tears to my eyes. I thought of the courage of the people from the Great March for Climate Action I met last weekend walking all the way across the country to raise awareness about climate change, like Ed Fallon, John Abbe, Jimmy Betts, and their friends. I thought about Ken Winston and Mary Pipher and John ClimateHawk Atkeison and Duane Hovorka and all the work that we do every week to try to stem the tide of climate change. I thought of my church members and all the people of faith I talk to who are trying hold the lens of love and justice on a difficult world. May we all have the courage to live in that “fierce embrace.”