September 16, 2007

To be found

Luke 15:8–9

Suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, “Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.”

This Sunday’s scripture is one I pondered a few years ago when my spiritual director assigned it as part of the first week of the Ignatian Exercises. I wrote this poem during that time and just revised it.

My fevered search for the lost shiny coin
that was God Who Made Sense:
Light the bright lamps of the mind!
Sweep the corners of reason!
Empty the pockets of theodicy!

What work!

At last work wears out
and I fall exhausted on the floor
and lie flat and deathly
and the silence makes room for a question:
Is the story about the woman’s search—
not mine
but hers?
her fevered search for the lost shiny coin
that is me?
She calls for lamps,
She sweeps the corners,
She empties her pockets….

And what more can a coin do
(small, flat, and round
lost in dust under a bookshelf
or the kitchen stove)
but lie there
and hope like anything that the woman
driven by love
will never call off her search?