Sunday, March 01, 2009

Today's Sermon #12

japanesedogwood, originally uploaded by Randuwa.

A friend of 6 years now contacted me on Friday, because he'd just discovered that he is HIV +. I was the first person he told, the person he called later that evening after his first appointment with a health counselor. I could hear the fear in his voice as he fought the urge to cry and assured me that he was alright, everything was alright.

The good news is that the positive result was from a routine test, and his health is good. He's certainly not dead yet. And we all die. Just some of us are given more time to ponder death's meaning.

He lives in Vancouver and like the Japanese dogwood in this poem is a transplant from another country.

from "Sabbaths, 1998"


Early in the morning, walking
in a garden in Vancouver
three throusand miles from your grave,
the sky dripping, song
sparrows singing in the borders,
I come suddenly upon
a Japanese dogwood, a tree
you loved, bowed down with bloom.
By what blessedness do I weep?

~ Wendell Berry, 1934 -

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