TODAY I MET ANOTHER MEMBER of my family: the human family that is. And incidentally we share the same family name, together with a love for retreat houses and what goes on within them, and Pat’s forthcoming visit to Glenfall House brings joy to my heart as I recall the depths (the highs and the lows) of a long silent retreat there many years ago … blessed a thousandfold by the gifts that flowed fresh from a wonderful herb-garden, a glorious kitchen, and fluted white china coffee pots at breakfast! And from the silence itself? – an extraordinary intimacy with fellow retreatants with whom one had hardly spoken more than a few words. A knowing that lies beyond language. A faith possessed of what Pat was to come to call Profound Simplicity. It’s a lovely thought that we may meet someday at Glenfall House. But until then we’ll meet and know in the silence, and in my returning to her glorious, knowing, praying poetry. Thanks Pat Marsh … and to all the beloved people who know me, and allow me to know them, in simplicity’s silences.

Profound Simplicity
as simple
as washing one another’s feet

Lord, forgive us
when we make discipleship

that was never
how you taught it

when I search your gospel teachings
I discover nothing more
and nothing less
than great simplicity

a basin and a towel
bread and wine
a simple touch
a word of forgiveness
a rhythm of prayer

take nothing for the journey

a grain of wheat
a mustard seed
the profound simplicity
of love

as simple
as washing another’s feet

forgive us
when we complicate discipleship
help us instead
to simply serve
out of your great love
and our
naked vulnerability

Pat Marsh

via By the Grace of God: Profound Simplicity.