The Thread

One of the many things I love about poetry is the way that it often expands rather than contracts the imagination.  And the best poems challenge you to enter into the story they are telling, the moment they are describing and make it your own. 

I read this poem by William Stafford this morning, and I was moved by the imagery it lifted up.  
There's a thread that you follow.  It goes among
things that change.  But it doesn't change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can't get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you can do can stop time's unfolding.
You don't ever let go of the thread.  
This poem by Stafford ultimately begs an important question.  Did you think of it yet?  It took me reading through the poem a couple of times before it occurred to me to ask it.  Here it is:  

"What is my thread?"  

How would I describe the thread that I follow?  How would I describe the thread that I hold on to no matter what happens all around me.  What is that thread that I hang on to for dear life, never letting go?  

For me, that thread is the undeserved and abundant grace of God.  It is God's grace---as revealed through the captivating love of Jesus--that I have been following and never letting go for my entire life.  

Even in moments when I wasn't exactly sure what thread I was still clinging to, it was still God's grace that I was clutching as I felt my way along, hand-over-hand, inch by inch, stumbling after Jesus, who ultimately shows us all what God is really like.  

What is your thread?   

What is it that has been the constant throughout your life?  As you look down at what your hands have been holding on to, what do you see?    

If you feel as though you've been clinging to the thread of bitterness, or sorrow, anger or disappointment---look more closely and deeply.   There is a true thread at the heart of it all, something that has been part of your journey from before the beginning of time.  

And that thread has it's origins in the God who created you, loves you and who desires for you to share in the joy of eternal life both now and forever.  

May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  


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