Lent Thoughts -Hospitality

Today’s Lent reading, squeezed in between much Holy Week preparation, was a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye from 19 Varieties of Gazelle.

Red Brocade

The Arabs used to say,
when a stranger appears at your door,
feed him for three days
before asking him who he is,
where he’s come from,
where he’s headed.
That way he’ll have the strength
enough to answer.
Or, by then you’ll be
such good friends
you don’t care.

Let’s go back to that.
Rice? Pine nuts?
Here, take my red brocade pillow.
My child will serve water 
to your horse.

No, I was not busy when you came!
I was not preparing to be busy.
That’s the armour everyone put on
to pretend they had a purpose
in the world.

I refuse to be claimed.
Your plate is waiting.
We will snip fresh mint
into your tea.

Image result for red brocade pillow

 

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