To Keep Us Warm








“I make them warm to keep my family from freezing;
I make them beautiful to keep my heart from breaking.”
–From the journal of a prairie woman, 1870
To keep a husband and five children warm,
she quilts them covers thick as drifts against
the door. Through every fleshy square white threads
needle their almost invisible tracks; her hours
count each small suture that holds together
the raw-cut, uncolored edges of her life.
She pieces each one beautiful, and summer bright
to thaw her frozen soul. Under her fingers
the scraps grow to green birds and purple
improbable leaves; deeper than calico, her mid-winter
mind bursts into flowers. She watches them unfold
between the double stars, the wedding rings.
~Luci Shaw “Quiltmaker”

in the unknown world
the woman
threading together her need
and her needle
nods toward the smiling girl
this will keep us warm

~Lucille Clifton from “quilting”


It could be the world was made this way:
piecemeal, the parts fitting together
as if made for one another~
disparate and separate
coming together.
The point of its creation
to be forever functional,
a blanket of warmth and security
but its result is so much more:
beauty arising from scraps,
the broken stitched to broken
to become holy and whole.







The Future is Possible

photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten
the green of Jesus
is breaking the ground
and the sweet
smell of delicious Jesus
is opening the house and
the dance of Jesus music
has hold of the air and
the world is turning
in the body of Jesus and
the future is possible
~Lucille Clifton “Spring Song”
A week later,
the rains have returned
and all seems grey
and ordinary again.
But He is extraordinary
even when we settle back to routine.
He is breaking
turning around
this world of ours.
He shows us what love meant
then and now-
our future is possible
together forever.
In Jesus’ resurrected presence,
the invisible kingdom of God
has become visible reality. 

The word has taken shape,
love has become real. 

Jesus showed what love meant. 
His word and life proved
that love knows no bounds. 

Nothing is impossible
for the faith that springs
from the fire of love.
~Eberhard Arnold