I thought I'd share something I wrote for my beloved choir folks, for our mid-rehearsal break, when someone from the choir reads a scripture and shares a thought. My choir peeps were incredibly tolerant of some of my longer pieces back in those days. This is from 2006, when I still lived my half-asleep existence: the ever-cheerful housewife, and mother of 4 small kids... Even so, it feels somehow relevant today, if only for Hardy's touching poem.
(Devotional on "The Oxen" by Thomas Hardy)
Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
"Now they are all on their knees,"
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.
We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.
So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
"Come; see the oxen kneel
"In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,"
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so.
-Thomas Hardy “The Oxen”