Lenten Devotional: Day 1

For a daily Lenten devotional, I offer some of my favorite poems and prayers. I have read poetry for years, and it has taken me years to read these poems. Most of them come from various collections I have in my library. Unlike other readings, a poem can stop me still, unable to read on, making me meditate, requiring a one a day exposure.
So, for the journey to Easter, I offer some of my favorite poems, one a day. All of them are tied together by a journeying theme that make them suitable for the season of Lent, as we travel through these forty days to Jerusalem, the cross, the empty tomb, and beyond.

Day 1

Wild Geese

Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting 
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Pray: Isaiah 40

People are grass
     that wither and fade,
                 but You are forever.
Eternal and everlasting,
     the Creator of the earth,
You never faint
     and never grow weary.
Empower me,
     lift me up,
                 renew my strength,
                             set me high
                                         on wings of eagles,
     lift me up,
                 and I will fly,
                             and not fall.
Eternal and everlasting,
     Creator of the earth,
                 lift me up…