Pay Attention


Jules Bastien Lepage, Joan of Arc (1879) Metropolitan Museum, New York

If you pay attention

you might hear the voice of angels

you might hear the saints of old calling you

calling you to do something extraordinary.


If you pay attention

you might be called from the comfort you know

you might be called to action

greater than you ever imagined.


If you pay attention

you might be asked to change the face of the earth

to fight for liberty of freedom, love and peace

the perfection of your creation.


If you pay attention

you might be summoned to something mysterious

to comfort the afflicted, to heal the broken

and love the unloved.


If you pay attention

you might learn that you are loved

and that everyone is really good at heart

but it’s up to you to make them believe it.


If you pay attention

you might realize that some things are worth fighting for

to do justice

love kindness

and walk humbly with our God.

If you pay attention.




Gustav Klimt, Hope II (1908), Museum of Modern Art, New York

Mothering Spirit,

this is my body

given for this child-to-be-born

being knit together in my womb

transforming and creating.


She is known by you already

known and loved

known and special and unique.

There will never be another child like her.


Each part of her has its own special task

bringing together all that is whole.

Created in your image

created in love

transformed from love to love

to love everlasting.


Leaping with joy,

sheltering in the shadow of your wings

of your wings and my womb,

a vessel of transformation.


Let me cast my cares on you

knowing you will sustain me.


Winter is fading, and new life is beginning

in this season of renewal and birth.

Now is the time for change,

for transformation, for all things new.


Mothering Spirit,

pray that it may be so.


Goya_St Peter Repentant

Goya, The Repentant St Peter (1824), Philips Collection, Washington DC

Lord, have mercy on me.

How foolish I’ve been,

how cowardly and stupid,

how much I have failed you.


Time and time again you have shown me the way,

the truth, the life.

And time and time again I have doubted you,

have doubted myself.

Lord, have mercy on me.


I speak without thinking,

I’m impetuous and rash

and still you put your trust in me,

show me mercy which is never deserved.


I’ve tried to love you,

I do love you more than life itself

so how could I deny you?

Not once but three times.

My shame is like a weight around my shoulders,

a weight that I will never lose

and I can barely look at you.


Forgive me, Lord.

Not once, not twice, but over and over again,

dare I even ask it?

You call me a rock and trust me with the keys to your kingdom

and I know I am unworthy.


May your strength overcome my weaknesses

and set me free to do your will.

Lord, have mercy on me.

May forgiveness and mercy follow me all the days of my life.


Georges de la Tour magdalen of the smoking flame

Georges de la Tour, Magdalen of the Smoking Flame (1640) Louvre, Paris

This is what I have left

two holy books

a cross

a scourge

and a lamp

to light them.


The lamp smokes and curls its way upwards

and I should trim the wick

but I don’t want to lose the light.

I look into the light

in the hope that I can see him again,

see the light that burned so deeply

the light that entered our world.


It feels as if all around me is dark

memories playing tricks on me

about what is and isn’t real


but the light is real

and what he’s done to me is real

really real

and I search for my soul in the light


I have no need of those other things

I only need the light

the light of the world

the light of my salvation

light to lighten my life

my life lived in him.



Thomas Hart_benton_the lord is my shepherd

Thomas Hart Benton, The Lord is my Shepherd (1926), Whitney Museum of American Art,
New York

We don’t need much in the morning,

just a strong cup of coffee

and some oatmeal to get us going.

Sabrina has some jam on hers

because she has a sweet tooth.

Then it’s out to work on the farm

as we’ve done for over sixty years now, I reckon.

It’s a simple life but we like it.

It’s all we need.

That and the love of the Lord.


Our strength comes from the Lord.

He’s our Shepherd and we are part of his flock.

We trust in Him.

We live with green pastures so it’s not hard to forget.

And when we come to enter the Valley of the Shadow of Death

then we will fear no evil

for we know his rod and staff comfort us.

Just like we’ve done with our little flock out there.

We trust in Him, you see.


We don’t need for anything else,

no fancy things.

We just need the love of the Lord

and each other.

Yes, we need each other.

But if that were to come to an end,

God forbid,

then we’d still have the love of the Lord.

He’s see us through.

It’s simple really.



Johann Heinrich Fussli, Silence (1800), Kunsthaus, Zurich

Lord, I am not worthy that thou shoulds’t come under my roof

but speak the word only and my soul shall be healed.


Lord, I am not worthy.

Let me stay here awhile,

sit here at your feet

and let my soul be healed.


Lord, I am not worthy.

Let me submit to your will,

whatever it may be

and let my body be yours.


Lord, I am not worthy.

Let me appreciate the self I have received

not deny my gifts and talents

and let me live up to them.


Lord, I am not worthy.

Let me know your kindness and compassion

and mirror them in my life

and let my mind be at one with you.


Lord, I am not worthy.

But Lord, you make me worthy.

Help me to remember that

humility is not thinking less of yourself

it is thinking of yourself less.


Lord, make me worthy of your love

this day and always.