Making the House Ready for the Lord

Dear Lord, I have swept and I have washed but
still nothing is as shining as it should be
for you. Under the sink, for example, is an
uproar of mice it is the season of their
many children. What shall I do? And under the eaves
and through the walls the squirrels
have gnawed their ragged entrances but it is the season
when they need shelter, so what shall I do? And
the raccoon limps into the kitchen and opens the cupboard
while the dog snores, the cat hugs the pillow;
what shall I do? Beautiful is the new snow falling
in the yard and the fox who is staring boldly
up the path, to the door. And still I believe you will
come, Lord: you will, when I speak to the fox,
the sparrow, the lost dog, the shivering sea-goose, know
that really I am speaking to you whenever I say,
as I do all morning and afternoon: Come in, Come in.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
12 years 5 months ago
Twice now during the past week, a squirrel has eaten away parts of my windowsill and gnawed four-inch holes in the screen to facilitate its entry to my house.

Yes, I have read with appreciation Mary Oliver’s poem “Making the House Ready for the Lord” (9/25). “Come in, come in,” she says to animals seeking shelter as winter dawns on a snowy world.

Advertisement

And what is my response? Unlike the poet, I have for God’s creatures who live out there in my yard a lesser and imperfect love that stops upon my doorstep. Beyond that boundary I offer a crust of last night’s pizza, nuts and suet, apples, whole wheat bread crumbs. To these you are welcome. Help yourself, I say, but keep your distance. This house is mine. For the limits to my hospitality, may the Lord forgive me.

And another thing: Stop digging up my daffodils.

12 years 5 months ago
Twice now during the past week, a squirrel has eaten away parts of my windowsill and gnawed four-inch holes in the screen to facilitate its entry to my house.

Yes, I have read with appreciation Mary Oliver’s poem “Making the House Ready for the Lord” (9/25). “Come in, come in,” she says to animals seeking shelter as winter dawns on a snowy world.

And what is my response? Unlike the poet, I have for God’s creatures who live out there in my yard a lesser and imperfect love that stops upon my doorstep. Beyond that boundary I offer a crust of last night’s pizza, nuts and suet, apples, whole wheat bread crumbs. To these you are welcome. Help yourself, I say, but keep your distance. This house is mine. For the limits to my hospitality, may the Lord forgive me.

And another thing: Stop digging up my daffodils.

Advertisement

The latest from america

Join Kirsten Powers, CNN analyst and USA Today columnist, and Rev. James Martin, S.J., Editor at Large of America Media and New York Times best-selling author, for a live show celebrating the 100th episode of Jesuitical.
America Media EventsApril 24, 2019
Certain memories linger in our hearts with special clarity. For me, a long-ago Holy Saturday that marked the day before my reception into the Catholic Church is one of those.
in ‘Never Look Away,’ Doctor Seeband, played by Sebastian Koch, smoothly transitions from denying the rights of the individual in the name of the Volk to denying them in the name of class struggle. (Photo: Sony Pictures Classics)
In ‘Never Look Away,’ the murderous eugenicist and the abortionist, the Nazi and the Communist, become one.
John J. ConleyApril 19, 2019
Father Schall was often described as a contrarian, but he had his mind set on the "essential and ultimate" questions.
Bill McCormick, S.J.April 19, 2019