By Jan Richardson

Poems for Contemplation: "Blessing in a Time of Violence"

This summer The Well is featuring a series of poems by women. Ruth Goring invites you to approach them curiously and meditatively.

"Blessing in a Time of Violence"

by Jan Richardson

Which is to say
this blessing 
is always.

Which is to say
there is no place 
this blessing 
does not long 
to cry out 
in lament, 
to weep its words 
in sorrow, 
to scream its lines 
in sacred rage. 

Which is to say 
there is no day 
this blessing ceases 
to whisper 
into the ear 
of the dying, 
the despairing, 
the terrified.

Which is to say 
there is no moment 
this blessing refuses 
to sing itself 
into the heart 
of the hated 
and the hateful, 
the victim 
and the victimizer, 
with every last 
ounce of hope 
it has.

Which is to say 
there is none 
that can stop it, 
none that can 
halt its course, 
none that will 
still its cadence, 
none that will 
delay its rising, 
none that can keep it 
from springing forth 
from the mouths of us 
who hope, 
from the hands of us 
who act, 
from the hearts of us 
who love, 
from the feet of us 
who will not cease 
our stubborn, aching 
marching, marching 

until this blessing has spoken
its final word, 
until this blessing 
has breathed 
its benediction 
in every place, 
in every tongue: 


Photo by Nature's Beauty from StockSnap.

About the Author

Jan is an artist, writer, and ordained minister in the United Methodist Church. She serves as director of The Wellspring Studio, LLC, and has traveled widely as a retreat leader and conference speaker. Known for her distinctive intertwining of word and image, Jan’s work has attracted an international audience drawn to the welcoming and imaginative spaces that she creates in her books, online blogs, and public events.

A native Floridian several generations over, Jan grew up in Evinston, a small community near the university town of Gainesville. The rural landscape, community traditions, and lifelong relationships fostered a rich sense of place, imagination, and ritual that continue to shape Jan's life and infuse her work.

Jan makes her home in Florida. She often collaborated with her husband, the singer/songwriter Garrison Doles, until his sudden death in December 2013.

You can find Jan's distinctive artwork, writing, and more at her blogs and websites:

The Painted Prayerbook The Advent Door Jan Richardson Images Sanctuary of Women
Comment via Facebook