50

Fifty dawned in lonesome mystery: 
if Jesus was my shepherd why did I still want?
How could I shepherd others without following the good shepherd?
Jubilee clues unfolded sometimes 
in Shalem prayer movement classes and walks,
in journal prayers with Nouwen’s book, Inner Voice of Love,
in noon prayer circle and monthly vigil at Festival Center.
But presence was lost in fog of impulse
identifying with or judging family, friends, clients, everyone.
Voice was drowned in multiple, ever-new scripts:
Daylines newsletter mailings, family letters;
Arts for Aging depictions of Grandma Moses, Eleanor Roosevelt, 
Harriet Tubman, Katherine Hepburn; Shakespeare acting class;
Call to Commitment dramatic reading, spiritual autobiography,
poems, prayers, even two sermons preached at Potter’s House.
Pregnant Jean did Calvin’s Oregon Extension;
Rhonda found a coauthor for In Their Own Voices;
Duff moved in with me for six months.
I sketched a word-a-week book for Mom’s 75th Birthday.
Sensing a new call, I started classes at Wesley Seminary.
Disappointed with “Spiritual Singles” events and people
I tried Single Adult Fellowship at McLean Presbyterian 
where Jim Gray caught my attention by showing up
for the time of praying for our children before Bible Study.




49

Was my life a charade? Who did I want to be?
For whom was I acting in Side Door’s fall show
or in Communion of Saints at Potters House?
Jean was a freshman at Calvin,
Rhonda finishing her Masters at Michigan State,
Christopher his Bachelor’s at Maryland.
Their absence and my parents’ presence was jarring at times.
It was You I addressed in all those journals
Mother/Father God, Brother Jesus, Holy Spirit;
You whose scriptures I wrestled with, pled by,
copied and posted on van and car dashboards.
You led me to the Simple Lifestyle Class,
Kerygma Mission Group, intern membership at PHC.
You showed up each day: I recognized You
in deer sightings, in seniors’ smiles,
in voices or writings, whenever I stopped showing off.
You nurtured my desire for a good man,
a friend, a companion and co-parent.