The Promise

photo from The Glorious Impossible [Illustrated With Frescoes From The Scrovegni Chapel By Giotto] by Madeleine L’Engle, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, 1990-09

Here’s a poem prompt from Madeleine L’Engle for this Saturday of Holy Week.

The Promise 
by Madeleine L’Engle

You promised
well, actually you didn’t promise very much, did you?
but that little is enough
is more than enough.
We fail you
over and over again
but you promised to be faithful to us
not to let us fail
beyond your forgiveness of our failure.
In our common temptation
you promised
we would not be tempted more than we are able
you promised not to lead us into temptation
beyond our frail strength
and you
yourself
are our refuge in temptation
our escape from the pit
and that is enough
so that we can bear
more than we thought we could bear
of loneliness, nothingness, otherness
sin, silliness, sadness.
for thine is the kingdom and the other great fors:
forbearance, forgiveness,
fortitude,
forever.
this is what you promised
it is enough
it is everything.

~L’Engle, Madeleine.“The Promise”, from The Ordering of Love: The New and Collected Poems of Madeleine L’Engle. Shaw Books, 2005.

What are you bearing today?

Which of the “great fors” is enough for you today?

2 thoughts on “The Promise”

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