God of the sweeping

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Or what woman having ten coins and losing one would not light a lamp and sweep the house, searching carefully until she finds it? And when she does find it, she calls together her friends and neighbors and says to them, “Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.” In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.

Luke 15: 8-10

Every night I take the broom in hand,
both of us worn and tired
but still working.
As I stretch out arms
to reach the bristles’ brush,
the steady rhythm comes back easy,
drag of dirt across familiar floor.

Every day it slides the same:
crumbs, hair, dust, food 
all piled into tidy heaps
left waiting for the bin.
One swift dump, then goodbye.
But making clean is holy work –
refreshing for another day,
forgiving what is past and gone.
To gather, to release 
and then repeat
makes way, always
for one day more.

I know the time it takes,
the pattern of the pulling
corners into center,
how to turn and switch
the broom’s direction when the grit is stubborn.
Sometimes I even do my sweeping in the dark
when all the world’s asleep.

Only when I lose the precious
slipped under couch,
rolled into corner dark
or simply disappeared –
then only do I blaze the lights,
look steady as I clean, search
focused on the finding,
knowing work that will not fail.

But if I did not sweep each day,
memorize these floors,
their stains and scuffs,
then I could not seek what’s lost
when it’s the coin that matters most.
So thus it was and always must it be:
pull creaky closet door to find old broom,
swish brush, brush swish
reach pull, pull reach
and then again to rest.
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9 thoughts on “God of the sweeping

    Leanne@ Life Happens When said:
    November 12, 2012 at 9:39 am


    Vernon J. Schmitz said:
    November 12, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Laura, Wow. Today’s poem is most powerful. Your ability to tie the everyday with scripture and the sacredness of life is amazing. I wish I had your gifts – my homilies could be more of what the Holy Spirit is desiring of this deacon. Thanks for your ministry. Dcn Vern

    Lauren L. said:
    November 12, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    YOU HAVE A POLKA-DOTTED BROOM!!! That delights me.

    Also, the poem is lovely. “Making clean is holy work”–indeed, it is.

    So too, perhaps, is the making untidy.

      Laura @ Mothering Spirit responded:
      November 13, 2012 at 3:19 pm

      :) I do love that broom! It actually cheers me up when I open the closet!

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