The Poem That Sparked a Sermon

Poet, James Crews, has a lovely website called The Singing Bowl. When I am looking for inspiration, it's one of my favorite "go-to" sites.


During one of my visits, I found inspiration for I sermon I was writing. The title of my reflection was "Oh Honey" in honor of this compassionate poem.

Self-Compassion

by James Crews


My friend and I snickered the first time

we heard the meditation teacher, a grown man,

call himself honey, with a hand placed

over his heart to illustrate how we too

might become more gentle with ourselves

and our runaway minds.


It’s been years

since we sat with legs twisted on cushions,

holding back our laughter, but today

I found myself crouched on the floor again,

not meditating exactly, just agreeing

to be still, saying honey to myself each time

I thought about my husband splayed

on the couch with aching joints and fever

from a tick bite—what if he never gets better?—

or considered the threat of more wildfires,

the possible collapse of the Gulf Stream,

then remembered that in a few more minutes,

I’d have to climb down to the cellar and empty

the bucket I placed beneath a leaky pipe

that can’t be fixed until next week. How long

do any of us really have before the body

begins to break down and empty its mysteries

into the air?


Oh honey, I said—for once

without a trace of irony or blush of shame—

the touch of my own hand on my chest

like that of a stranger, oddly comforting

in spite of the facts.


Poem copyright ©2021 by James Crews, from the Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day edited by Kimberly Blaeser.


Photo by Naassom Azevedo on Unsplash