A Poem and Blessing from Trustee Jacque Foster
Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness
We grope around
Which way to go.
Glimmer of light.
Could we wing
Across the heavens
Would we not see
Millions of candles
Girding our planet.
So let us take heart
And light our candle
Poem by Kathleen Davey in “In Another Light: The Poetry of Kathleen Davey and Mark Kennedy”
Belfast: The Corrymeela Press, 2001, pg. 42.
“The Corrymeela Community is a group of Christians in Northern Ireland – both Catholic and Protestant – who believe themselves to be called together as ‘instrument of God’s peace’ in the Church and in the world.”
Ray Davey was the founder of Corrymeela and based it somewhat on the model of the Iona Community. When Dave and I were in Edinburgh, Scotland on our way to Iona on my 2006 sabbatical, I needed to see a doctor. The doctor I saw turned out to be the son of Ray Davey and when I told him we were on our way to Iona, he was very pleased and told me who his father was and said “We have to get you well to go to Iona!”
Then on my 2012 sabbatical, when I was working on Compassionate Listening, we went to Northern Ireland to learn more of the listening process they use between Protestants and Catholics there, we connected with and stayed at the Corrymeela retreat at Balleycastle (and met with a member of their staff in Belfast.) Ray Davey had just died and his funeral was while we were there. I have cherished the poetry of Kathleen Davey since that time.
So, this poem is written in the context of the ‘troubles’ in Northern Ireland. I hear it now in the context of the coronavirus ‘troubles’ across the world. Blessings to all in this time.
As the health and social services general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the National Benevolent Association partners with congregations, regions, general ministries, and a variety of Disciples-related health and social service providers to create communities of compassion and care. Founded in 1887 by six women responding to the needs of the day and on their doorsteps, for more than 130 years the NBA has continued to serve “the least of these.” Learn more at www.nbacares.org.