The Poetry of Radical Welcome

We do not speak of politics on these pages because political debate and that which is a pause into sacred time rarely overlap.

The exception would be when some smoothed-down debate leads us closer to that which is most sacred in our lives and souls.

Immigration Reform is a hot button that we will not push today.

Instead, take a reminder of what the topic once was, in another time of us and them. Remember that our country – so wild and young – was a place of great welcome, and a shining universe of great opportunity.

That opportunity towards others should never be replaced with greed, hate, and fear.

Colossus of Rhodes - ruinsIf all this talk of immigration confuses you, here is the reminder in the means of a poem written in 1883 by American poet Emma Lazarus.The poem reflects back on the great Colossus of Rhodes, a braggingly grand statue that was one of the seven wonders of the Ancient world, so tall and gradiose that the legs stretched across the entrance to the port. She was writing of our young and wild America that was nothing like that. No brags, back then. Just facts.

Thus the title of her poem, The New Colossus.

In 1903, the poem was made part of the Statue of Liberty, in New York City. When you think now of walls and fences and deporting immigrants, think of the words of Emma Lazarus.

Everything else in the conversation is politics, and contains nothing sacred worth pulling us away from our callings as Americans to make our common world better.

Be young and wild. Learn the deepest meaning of radial welcome!

Keep the faith!
 - Amen


The New Colossus
by Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

First Coming – a poem by Madeline L’Engle

We cannot wait until the world is sane.

- Keep the faith!


First Coming

by Madeleine L’Engle

He did not wait till the world was ready,
till men and nations were at peace.
He came when the Heavens were unsteady,
and prisoners cried out for release.

He did not wait for the perfect time.
He came when the need was deep and great.
He dined with sinners in all their grime,
turned water into wine.

He did not wait till hearts were pure.
In joy he came to a tarnished world of sin and doubt.
To a world like ours, of anguished shame
he came, and his Light would not go out.

He came to a world which did not mesh,
to heal its tangles, shield its scorn.
In the mystery of the Word made Flesh
the Maker of the stars was born.

We cannot wait till the world is sane
to raise our songs with joyful voice,
for to share our grief, to touch our pain,
He came with Love: Rejoice! Rejoice!


“First Coming” From The Ordering of Love:
The New and Collected Poems
of Madeleine L’Engle