May we walk yet in the light of those great souls,
those whose life was faith,
and whose very work was justice.
May we abide in gratitude for this
precious gift, these precious lives,
which have come, down through the ages,
straight to us from the Hand of Life,
A great soul, whether of the public or private kind,
illuminates a generation; to have known one friend
who opened your eyes to the possibilities of life
is to know the toils and snares of your life redeemed;
We have known a whole church full, and still do.
To have witnessed the ministry
of the truly great among us (and within each of us)
is to redeem our humanity;
it is to know what it truly means to be alive here on earth.
The light which their gentle greatness casts is hope,
and a deep abiding faith that we can act
so that the world is made new before our eyes.
That newness lies not in superficial change,
but in getting the slow wheels of life
turning again—turning again, and changing.
The greatness of those dear souls who have come before
smiles gently its compassion over us,
and even we who cast about in darkness and confusion half the time
are warmed, reformed, transformed in its magnificent glow—
transformed, and made great ourselves
in the kindness of this community
of memory and hope.
3/5/03 - 9/7/03