Messengers + Witnesses

bis rests sunday reflections messengers + witnesses

I am the Angel with the Broken Wing,
The one large statue in this quiet room.
The staff finds me too fierce, and so they shut
Faith’s ardor in this air-conditioned tomb.
The docents praise my elegant design
Above the chatter of the gallery.
Perhaps I am a masterpiece of sorts—
The perfect emblem of futility.
Mendoza carved me for a country church.
(His name’s forgotten now except by me.)
I stood beside a gilded altar where
The hopeless offered God their misery.
I heard their women whispering at my feet—
Prayers for the lost, the dying, and the dead.
Their candles stretched my shadow up the wall,
And I became the hunger that they fed.
I broke my left wing in the Revolution
(Even a saint can savor irony)
When troops were sent to vandalize the chapel.
They hit me once—almost apologetically.
For even the godless feel something in a church,
A twinge of hope, fear? Who knows what it is?
A trembling unaccounted by their laws,
An ancient memory they can’t dismiss.
There are so many things I must tell God!
The howling of the dammed can’t reach so high.
But I stand like a dead thing nailed to a perch,
A crippled saint against a painted sky.

-“Angel with the Broken Wing” by Dana Gioia

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But the fact remains that God has chosen us for the tremendous destiny of love, and if the wonder and the joy of it is ours, so too is the responsibility of it. That responsibility is to prove to those who are still unaware of it that Christ has risen from the dead and that he is in the world now. We have to prove Christ to the world, and have to prove him to the world by our own lives. 

We cannot do this without a very close imitation of Christ’s way with other people, and without surrendering our lives so wholly to him that he may act through us and gradually obliterate our own selfishness and stupidity by his love and understanding.

Caryll Houselander, The Risen Christ

We have to prove Christ to the world, and have to prove him to the world by our own lives. #BISblog #BISrests // Click To Tweet


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