Poem: The Wisdom You Always Knew

The Wisdom You Always Knew

It is where you come to pray.
Where you come when the oceans are too far,
when your body it too tired to climb the local mountains.
It is where you come for silence,

allowing the light and space to sing to you
instead of choirs and hymns,
where the candles you light are not rituals
but a reminder of the light you need in your own darknesses.

It is confession time, a talk with a father who loves
more than punishes, who listens to your madness,
your grief and allows your history and study and beliefs,
the truest ones, to rise without an audience.

You come here on holy days as well,
and your heart swells at the sound of song,
with the chant of prayers shared.
Of ritual and word and the comfort of not being alone

in your battles against a dark world that has forgotten
the power of love. But at times, you need your father,
alone. To feel him and his focus and his loving hug.
To empty yourself in the one so great I fear not

any repercussion but love and a soft whisper
of the wisdom you always knew, but at times
gets lost in the noise.

About this poem.

Our little church stays open. I am constantly surprised by the number of people who come in the “off hours” of church to pray quietly, finding the sanctuary just that, a sanctuary, a place of peace.

People think that as a pastor, I am always telling people what to do. The truth is I almost never tell people what they should do. Most already know. In the confusion of crisis or temptation or weakness, that truth gets lost. I simply offer them a safe place to come back to it.

I do the same for myself. Remove the noise and the way generally becomes clear.

The problem of course is finding that place of silence. It’s easy at the ocean or on a mountaintop. Less so in the world most of us live in. May you find your own place of peace in your world, where ever you are.


PS: Yes, that is our little church, what you see when you walk in the door, even before the sanctuary itself.


  1. Thoughtful, truthful, and heartfelt words, Pastor Tom — Thank you. Though I’ve only been to RUMC in your photos, it indeed should be a quiet place for time alone with our loving Father. I can also imagine it is filled by a loving community on Sunday mornings full of joy and hope. May all who tarry there — alone or together — be filled with peace, hope and a “love that passes all understanding.” Blessings.

    • Good morning Steve. I am blessed with an astonishing open and loving congregation. In a world of such division and anger, it is a good place to be. And yes, the sanctuary itself is a peaceful place. In the eight years I have been here, a lot of broken people have found peace here. I can live with being part of that legacy. And rejoice.

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