Here is where it all begins
Here is where it all begins. It cannot be otherwise.
Here we have come to listen, we have come to hear.
An old woman sat here yesterday on a park bench,
a brown bag at her side, her eyes sparkling
as children frolicked on a carousel.
"Nice day," I said.
"You're right," she said, and smiled.
We built a bridge and sat there silently.
And a policeman came, took the brown bag,
led the woman away.
I said nothing; there was nothing to say.
And the world moved on,
and pain and joy were strangers once again.
And yet here in the moment of connection
is where it all begins,
it cannot be otherwise.
The city's named and nameless stories are what we are to hear.
Someone's child is hungry.
Someone has lost a job.
Someone's marriage hurts so much there are no words.
Someone needs a friend.
The stories come—oh, pray that we may hear,
and we may tell.
Pray that we may bridge city streets, with caring,
that we may give and receive the blessing of love.
(From the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Unitarian Council, May, 1988)