He Gives

My pop was baptized, February 17th, in Knoxville, Tennessee. What I did not know was his son was in the baptismal pool with him to do the honors. I thought he was beyond human aid, and I did not want to be let down and disappointed. But my brother had been praying for this event for 18 years. Have at him, God.

At a 1:00 AA meeting, the topic of discussion was, “We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” We started with the punch line. I was forced to listen. Could this really happen to my pop? About twenty, jobless men and women went around the room, sharing their experience, strength and hope, an assurance that God could restore us to sanity. There is energy in the rooms of AA that is hard to describe, and I’m not talking about the coffee.

I was overcome with emotion. I couldn’t breath. I wish I could remember everything they had to say.

When the hour AA meeting was up, I sat there, my nerves were shot. I’m ready to receive what you got for me, God. Then, a woman I have never seen before, Bonnie, was her name, came and sat down beside me. She put her arm around me and said, “I collect dolls and daughters, and you are my daughter.” I believed in the humanity of that woman.

I wrote this poem for my pop, as a gift for baptism and his birthday.

He Gives

A perfect life is your life.
You are holy in the Lord’s eye.
Giving is his pleasure,
for you are his treasure.

It’s amazing.
He’s able.
Born of the water.
To me the world matters, not.

We must see through in others.
The invisible is visible through givers and lovers.
I’m so wrapped up in his love and last promise.
Here I shall see you again as a prince.

He won’t hold back.
Don’t leave empty handed;
forgiveness and friendship.
He gives this chance to us.
His giving is in every sack.

~ Stacy Sweeney

How Far

James Abbott McNeill Whistler
Aesthetic painter, printmaker and etcher
The White Symphony: Three Girls
46.4 x 61.6 cms | 18 1/4 x 24 1/4 ins
Oil on panel
Freer Gallery of Art
Washington | United States

It wasn’t how far I had gone
but where I was headed
the destination of all who live
had given me to my bed
asleep and at rest

let me repeat what I just said
this far and no farther
here I must stop
I stand on holy ground

~Stacy Sweeney