Welcome to The SHAPE of a Leader. I write this blog with the SHAPE leadership development program (for women pastors) I lead in mind, but it is for all who are interested in leadership, faith, and the intersection of the two.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Poem: For the Interim Time

Not everyone identifies with poetry, but if you do, it can capture emotion so much better than simple text or lists.  Here is a poem, shared with me by a pastor in my SHAPE leadership development program, that I think speaks to transition so wonderfully. I often turn to this poem to hear what it has to say to me in the given moment.  I wonder what it's saying to you today (read it 3 times if it's not speaking to you)...

For the Interim Time
(from To Bless the Space Between Us by John O'Donohue)

When near the end of the day, life has drained
Out of light, and it is too soon
For the mind of night to have darkened things,

No place looks like itself, loss of outline
Makes everything look strangely in-between,
Unsure of what has been or what might come.

In this wan light, even trees seem groundless.
In a while it will be night, but nothing 
Here seems to believe the relief of dark.

You are in this time of the interim
Where everything seems withheld.

The path you took to get here has washed out;
The way forward is still concealed from you.

The old is not old enough to have died away;
The new is still too young to be born.

You cannot lay claim to anything;
In this place of dusk,
Your eyes are blurred;
And there is no mirror.

Everyone has lost sight of your heart
And you can see nowhere to put your trust;
You know you ahve to make your own way through.

As far as you can, hold your confidence.
Do not allow your confusion to squander
This call which is loosening
Your roots in false ground,
That you might come free
From all you have outgrown.

What is being transfigured here is your mind,
And it is difficult and slow to become new.
The more faithfully you can endure here,
THe more refined your heart will becoime
For your arrival in the new dawn.

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