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  • Writer's pictureGreg Dover

Curations: Those Winter Sundays

I know it's not winter yet. In fact, it is only just now beginning to feel like fall - with college football in full swing, and pumpkin-spice everything on the shelves.

But the poem below by Robert Hayden is a good reminder (at any time of year!) of the many ways we are often ignorant and ungrateful to those who serve quietly in "love's austere and lonely offices".

And perhaps this poem can be a challenge: to open our eyes to those around us who care for us and serve us, but whose gifts - whether a warm room to wake up to, or polished shoes, or meals made, or clothes washed, or houses maintained - we rarely notice.

After all, as people of faith and followers of Jesus, we know that in his Way - in that great divine reversal - the greatest among us are those who serve (Matthew 23:11).


"Those Winter Sundays" by Robert Hayden

Sundays too my father got up early

and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,

then with cracked hands that ached

from labor in the weekday weather made

banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.

When the rooms were warm, he’d call,

and slowly I would rise and dress,

fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,

who had driven out the cold

and polished my good shoes as well.

What did I know, what did I know

of love’s austere and lonely offices?

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