the mantle

Her heart cried for him to assume the mantle
of Spiritual Head of the Household,
her faith as strong as her desires were specific.
Although speaking the things of God
was her first language, he was a private man of careful words.
If he wouldn’t initiate the family devotions she craved,
they would have none.

Of quiet faith, he led off-stage, dish towel or mower in hand.
Humble hard work was his hallmark, and she led by example, too,
in disciplines spiritual and faith like a child.
She believed there no leaders between them,
but I saw two, alone.

The Christ-Way is not gendered; aren’t all called to follow first?
To lead we bow low, without spotlight or script. 
Different kinds of service and the same God at work. 
Gifted and graced by a Spirit of freedom, 
teaching and learning, we practice as one.

Can we pray? she asked, initiating. And he did, and we did, as a family,
like she’d wanted all along. Some prayers bear fruit in decades’ time, and
we are the ones we’ve searched for all the while.
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