the Garment

I did not ask for a poem this time, or at least not until it had already started and I didn’t quite know what to do with it. I was sitting on the floor in the dark, beginning my night prayer when its words began.

When the words persisted, I turned on the light and jotted them down in the little notebook by my bedside. I knew that whatever was being said was not yet finished but I was simply too tired to continue.

Not surprisingly, more came the next night – but this time I was ready. But I knew there was more to come. I just didn’t know what. This afternoon, it was finished.

Now, if only I can learn to live its message…


reaching for the garment

on my closet floor

i think aloud,

“why should i hold on to

this tattered old self?

what is it to me?

once i thought it something grand,

 to be worn with pride,

but now all i see are tears

and holes and frayed edges.”

can i let it go, so familiar

and comfortable it’s become?

can i toss it aside for the new self

that awaits me?


a Word speaks to me

in my nakedness,

“wrap yourself in a mantle of justice.

do not be afraid to be among

the white-robed army of martyrs

and be ever ready for

the wedding feast.”


the Word continues,

“but even that is not enough.

you must ‘clothe yourself

in Christ Jesus’ –

yes, wrap yourself in Me –

until My Self is your self

and yours is Mine.”


for a time, i am silent.

what can i say

as i shiver in the dark,

clinging to my tattered self?

i finger each threadbare memory

 as though a treasure

i cannot bear to part with.


the Word speaks again,

“put on, my beloved,

‘heartfelt compassion, kindness,

humility, gentleness and patience’.

here, here is My tunic

for which they cast lots.

let it be your garment now.

I gave it up for you.”


i have no choice

yet no moment has ever been freer

as i let go of everything

 i once thought was me.

i let go, dropping the tattered self

and it falls uselessly to the floor.

but i no longer see it.

before me there is nothing

but the Light – o glorious Light –

my Love, my Christ,

my Love.


(to Him be glory)


3 thoughts on “the Garment

  1. albert

    I too sometimes “shiver in the dark.” Words of light help, words that arrive from . . .
    My only response (If I may borrow): “for a time, i am silent / what can i say”

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