After an Earthquake

After an earthquake

It doesn’t pay to be loose around the edges
at a time like this
to be frivolous or slack
don’t frighten anyone with a sudden sneeze
no leaping out of a birthday cake


You need to focus, concentrate
hold your mind in a straight path
don’t deviate into arrogance or smugness
don’t think you’ve got it all sorted
or imagine you can ride this rocky road
on your own
there are forces greater than you at work here
power beyond your meagre capacity to understand


You need to twine your heart
like a piece of number 8 wire
around something solid and grounded
that will hold you calm on the roughest of days
and the bumpiest of nights

Be thankful
look at all you have become
even in the midst of all you have lost

Be attentive
listen to the Voice speaking
like stirrings of wind through the trees

Be present in the here and now
appreciate the texture
the sound, the taste and touch
of each precious and holy moment

Be still
rest in the One whose love you know


by Barbara Sampson

Barbara Sampson is director at The Salvation Army Hornby’s Community Ministries in Christchurch, and part time poet, wordsmith and spiritual director. Wife of one, mother of two, grandmother of ten.

Source Refresh: Journal of Contemplative Spirituality Volume 13 Number 1 Summer 2014

Photo Credit: e_lisewin via Compfight cc

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