Losing Our Way and Being Found - Lenten Devotional

During Lent, as we ponder how the theme “Lost and Found” relates to our journey of faith, we will share a weekly devotion written by an active elder or a staff member. We hope these provide “food for thought” during this season.


During Holy Week we come face to face with humanity’s failure — played out in the specific failures of individuals — to recognize, accept, and embrace Jesus as God incarnate. Remembering the actions of individuals that led to Jesus’ crucifixion — the questions, the betrayal, the exhaustion, the violence, the shouting, the silence — reminds us how easy it is, with all the demanding minutiae of everyday life, to forget the miraculous, healing, joyous gift of God among us. Mary Oliver captures this beautifully in her poem, “Maybe,” which traces the trajectory of the disciples from the boat on a stormy sea which Jesus calms to the garden of Gethsemane, where they cannot stay awake to watch with him on the final night of his life. This Holy Week may we recognize the ways we have lost our way because we have forgotten God, and may we trust that our God who can calm the wind and the waves knows just where to find us.

—Amy Starr Redwine, Pastor

Mary Oliver, New and Selected Poems, Volume One. Beacon Press, 2004.

Sweet Jesus, talking
his melancholy madness,
stood up in the boat
and the sea lay down,

silky and sorry.
So everybody was saved
that night.
But you know how it is

when something
different crosses
the threshold — the uncles
mutter together,

the women walk away,
the young brother begins
to sharpen his knife.
Nobody knows what the soul is.

It comes and goes
like the wind over the water —
sometimes, for days,
you don't think of it.

Maybe, after the sermon,
after the multitude was fed,
one or two of them felt
the soul slip forth

like a tremor of pure sunlight
before exhaustion,
that wants to swallow everything,
gripped their bones and left them

miserable and sleepy,
as they are now, forgetting
how the wind tore at the sails
before he rose and talked to it —

tender and luminous and demanding
as he always was —
a thousand times more frightening
than the killer storm 

FPC Richmond