Goodness, Gentleness and Patience Rest on Main

by Christine Sine

Pen and Paint Ponderings with Karen and Karen
by Karen Wilk (writer) and Karen Tamminga-Paton (painter)

Before you read the reflection below, we invite you to take a moment to contemplate the artwork. Pause and reflect, and notice your own observations about the work and what thoughts it sparks in you. Then read the poem below.

Goodness, Gentleness and Patience Rest on Main.
     Do they?
In the midst of pain
     Violence, addiction
          Garbage, decay, dereliction?
     When the market, the climate,
          Our neighbourhood, our health
               The whole world seems bad?
Could goodness be found
     In the smile an old lady on a bench bears
     In an open gesture that welcomes and shares
     In the bright yellow, the dandelion growing up through the crack, wears?
Indeed goodness sits with arms folded in her lap
     Contented, present, attentive to what ere she might meet
For Creator
     And all Creation
          Are good
               Very good…
Thus Goodness rests in orange
                    – with slippered feet.

Goodness, Gentleness and Patience Rest on Main.
     Do they?
     Amongst harsh words, raised fists,
          Racists and riots,
               Bigots, bullies…
                    So much injustice, fear and hate.
What could be gentle in this sorry state?
     How could the beauty of ruby red, and hidden hands
          rest—and make a difference…
     Shift the sands,
          Calm the storm
Calm in the storm?
     Tenderness in the rough?
          Kindness dispelling meanness
               Grace forgiving offenses
                              Salt and pepper hair
                              Fruit of the Spirit
                                   Embodied in the midst of it all
          For us not against us…
                Like a grandmother.

Goodness, Gentleness and Patience Rest on Main.
Like a grandfather
     Resting on his walking stick
          Leaning forward

Patience on Main
     Through all the street’s changes
          The world’s changes,
               Life stages…
Full of gratitude
For in all the mystery
          In all the questions
                    In all the what ifs and why not’s
                              God rests among us.
                                        WITH US
                                                    IN US.
As human frailty, failure and faultiness are made new
In the good and gentle ways
     Of patient Love
               On a bench
                    In the muted sun
                         On Main Street
                              Embracing every one of us.

Your kindness and love will always be with me each day of my life,
and I will live forever in your house, Lord. Psalm 23:6 CEV

GoWResources Did you know that alongside Christine Sine’s book The Gift of Wonder, we have many resources available to you? The free downloadable bonus packet or beautiful prayer cards featuring prayers from the book, for example – something to hold and behold! Or perhaps you’d like to journey through the book alongside a retreat – we have that too! You can check it all out in our shop!

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1 comment

lisa.scandrette February 8, 2023 - 9:34 am

This is so rich and beautiful! I’ve read it through and looked at the painting a number of times. Thank you!

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