A few weeks ago someone commented about me that, “On your epitaph, it should read simply, ‘[dot dot dot] and [dot dot dot]'”.
. . . and . . .
It was said in a loving and thoughtful way—an observation about their experience of me and my ministry. I’ve been thinking about that comment a lot since then, and about the gift of having someone express a thought in a way that expands my own perspective on myself and the world . . . that helps me to think in ways I’ve not thought before.
And that brought to mind this poem—a favorite that I revisit occasionally. This time of year is always a reflective and thoughtful time for me, and I offer this poem in the hope that it will serve your reflections in this season, too.
Things to Think, by Robert Bly
Think in ways you’ve never thought before
If the phone rings, think of it as carrying a message
Larger than anything you’ve ever heard,
Vaster than a hundred lines of Yeats.
Think that someone may bring a bear to your door,
Maybe wounded and deranged; or think that a moose
Has risen out of the lake, and he’s carrying on his antlers
A child of your own whom you’ve never seen.
When someone knocks on the door, think that he’s about
To give you something large: tell you you’re forgiven,
Or that it’s not necessary to work all the time, or that it’s
Been decided that if you lie down no one will die.
With love . . . and . . . more,