Dec 102012

As they collected the offering for the local Homeless Cold Weather Shelter, we sang a song that finally made sense to me: “Sure on This Shining Night”, words by James Agee.  For months we’d been talking about the poem and what it meant and I’d never been satisfied that I understood it. 

Sure on this shining night 

Of star-made shadows round

Kindness must watch for me

This side the ground

The late year lies down the north,

All is healed, all is health

High summer holds the earth,

Hearts all whole

Sure on this shining night

I weep for wonder

Wandr’ing far alone

Of shadows on the stars. 


There in St. Paul’s in that moment, I got it.  For me, it tells the tale of someone journeying through a cold, dark patch of life that is so black that only the stars give enough light to make shadows.  Then a stranger, a caring messenger, provides some comfort that keeps him from death and despair and causes restoration and healing.  The journeying one is deeply touched at the gift because he thought he was all alone.

 Posted by at 20:22