- Kathleen Henderson Staudt
- I work as a teacher, poet and spiritual director at a number of institutions in the DC area. My teaching focuses in various ways on writing, poetry, Spirituality and Christian vocation and ministry - especially from the point of view of the laity. I also offer classes and retreats encouraging people to explore their inner lives, engage their creativity and reflect on their beliefs about God, vocation, and how we can discern and pursue new ways to transform our broken world. I enjoy speaking of faith in the secular academy as well as reminding those preparing for ministry in the Church that our primary purpose is to love and serve the world beyond the church's doors. I love helping people to grow in faith and to find their own voices, and I also love encouraging them to use their minds. I see no contradiction between these impulses, believing as I do that faith, reason and creativity work together.
Listening at the tent flap
While her husband talked to God
She overheard the good news: At last
(At ninety-whatever) She would have a child!
And she laughed.
although, you might well say, it wasn't funny..
The timing must have seemed a cruel joke.
What? Now that I am old, shall I have joy?
Why now? Why not fifty, seventy years ago
When she was strong and ready, even longing.
Why wait to grant a lifetime's fervent prayer
Until all hope was gone?
So listening at the flap, in joy and bitterness, she laughed,
Never dreaming that her husband's God
Might want to speak to her.
Her laughter, though, was heard,
And soon she trembled
To hear the strange, familiar, terrifying voice of God.
And yet, that voice was also sharing in the joke
In confidence, across the kitchen table.
"You laugh?" said God, and laughed when she denied it,
"I heard you laugh. But wait.
Wait, and I will show you.
Is anything too wonderful for Me?"
"Just wait, and I will show you
And remember, how you laughed."
And Sarah's laughter, creature to Creator,
named her child.
by Kathleen Henderson Staudt, from Annunciations: Poems out of Sripture (Edwin Mellen, 2003)