Last week at the seminar for first year ministers, we shared many powerful worship experiences together. Today among some of the things I received in email, were some of the readings from the worship experiences. One reading in particular had been in lodged in my mind and heart since last week, it was a poem about a man carrying a child in the rain. Maybe it struck me so strongly because I am a father and recall the image of carrying my son in this way. Maybe it grabbed me because it has been raining a lot here lately.
The poem is “Shoulders” by Naomi Shihab Nye
A man crosses the street in rain,
stepping gently, looking two times north and south,
because his son is asleep on his shoulder.
No car must splash him.
No car drive too near to his shadow.
This man carries the world’s most sensitive cargo
but he’s not marked.
Nowhere does his jacket say FRAGILE,
HANDLE WITH CARE.
His ear fills up with breathing.
He hears the hum of a boy’s dream
deep inside him.
We’re not going to be able
to live in this world
if we’re not willing to do what he’s doing
with one another.
The road will only be wide.
The rain will never stop falling.