It was the season of Lent
She mused on the thought
Of, going without
She knew what deficiency was all about
Not her own planning and against her own will
Her riches in much registered right close to nil
Shortages and deficiencies – that was her life.
Short on wisdom, slow with words
Lack of patience, unmotivated
A serious deficit of peace and of joy
How easily she switched from calm to annoy
That she was poor there was no doubt
Yet, when she considered it she still owned a lot.
Stuff – the weight of which pulled her down
How she acquired this – she can’t recall
The heaviness often has caused her to fall
She stopped to look at all that’s behind
Nothing of worth at all she can find
In fact, as far as her good eye can see
It’s just broken things
That weighs like steel on her mind
She can’t let it go – so always she carries it
Wherever she goes – while eating and sleeping –
And God only knows where all she’s dragged this around
Still nothing of worth she has found
Going without while having much stuff
From her gloomy musings she turned to go
When her eye caught a speck of red in the mud
Her sore back bent down slow.
It was a red ribbon she smoothed with her hands
And, as though precious – rubbed at the dirt and gritty sand.
A moment of clarity came to her soul.
Twas only a moment – but she had a new goal
She recalled her old circle skirt – so colourful and long
She had worn it to dances
When she still had a song.
The colour long faded – it mattered not now
She gathered her stuff that so long dragged her down
Stuffed it into that skirt, with that ribbon tied round.
With new purpose she moved forward
Still – dragging her load
This new path now was rocky, uncomfortably steep
Being dirty and tired she began to weep
She tried swinging the bundle up on her back
That failed – so she dragged that circle skirt sack.
With tears flowing freely
She climbed the steep hill
Clutching at shrub branches
Thorns cutting her hands
Determined she moved forward
Through dust and dry sand
Not feeling the cuts
Not aware of her tears
She set her mind to ignore
her strong growing fears.
She felt a hand then
reaching down from above
Grabbing hers tightly
Such strength and such love
Still clutching her load, as she collapsed at his feet
She saw that old cross and wondered
that here they should meet.
She was genuinely glad for his help
Climbing that steep thorny hill
But for some reason his presence here
did not give her a thrill
She felt his compassion, it was honest and true
He knew all things about her and what she’d been through.
To be quite honest, she was tired of carrying her load,
But – that is all she had – must she let go of that to?
She looked full in his kind loving eyes and slowly
loosened her grasp and gave all to him.
With a sigh of relief she now understood
That going without was meant to be good
Her sorrows and failures – he carried them now
Even her tears he stored away
Like a treasure that would be useful someday
She, light of foot, while he carried that load
Down that path walked together
Until they reached home.
—Margaret B. Klassen
Life is a painting, use lots of colors in yours…
by Alison Banman
By Helen Dyck
Helen Dyck a Winkler songwriter and poet, passed away in January 2016. She attended Covenant Mennonite Church during the last years of her life and was a close friend of a number of our members.