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Where God walks: a poetic response to deeply spiritual places

Some places can overwhelm us with their deep spiritual “footprints.” Some places seem more touched by God than others. I was in one of these places recently. A visit to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods provoked a poetic response:

There are places God has glanced
with lightest touch of hand, some swept,
palm to earth, and some in which God’s hand
sinks into soil like a sculptor’s hand in clay, that shout,
“Here I’ve sent saints; look the proof is all around you.”
And the heart stills, stops, halts — no, you are not
on the moon; the ground grasses green, sky pulses blue,
the smell of the place is ancient but known. And yet.
The silence is deeper, divine, the air crowded with
exemplary souls, and you want to join them —
shrug off your body like an old coat and disappear
into ether. Pierced to the root, overcome by a sun
that seems more heavenward than most, you
fill your lungs with quavering promise and slide
between worlds as easy as a body entering water.
If you could only stay, you would be saved.

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Lori Strawn

Lori Strawn

Providence Associate Lori Strawn is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Witchita, Kansas. A 1987 graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, Lori formerly served on the advisory board for the Providence Associates.

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  1. Avatar Donna Butler on April 22, 2017 at 8:00 am

    Thank you! What a beautiful writing for Earth Day!

  2. Avatar S. Marsha speth on April 22, 2017 at 8:32 am

    Lovely! Thank you.

  3. Avatar Mary Carroll Blocher on April 22, 2017 at 9:16 am

    Beautiful reflections about our beautiful home–St Mary of the Woods, IN

  4. Avatar Jennifer Drake on April 22, 2017 at 11:09 am


  5. Avatar Jeannie Smith on April 22, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    Wow, Lori – that is great! Makes this California PA super-eager to get back home!

  6. Avatar Janet Tosick on April 22, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    What a lovely poem, Lori!
    I love St. Mary’s of the Woods, and hope to visit soon.
    The peace and love felt is truly heaven sent, from God above.
    I truly loved your descriptions of earth and sky.
    Janet Tosick

  7. Avatar Jean Brown on April 24, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Truly from your soul, this one emerged……glorious! Thank you, Lori

  8. Katie Cramer Katie Cramer on April 28, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Oh, this is just lovely! But now you’ve made me homesick. 🙁

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