The Cost of It

The Rev. Maren Tirabassi

9 June 2019

The Cost of It

What the festival costs

is more than the price of helium
in a few small red balloons,
and a birthday cake for the church
during coffee hour.


It costs going out to the streets,
speaking words we don’t understand,
listening to languages of
our neighbors,
tomorrow and the next day
and when the streets are hot or icy,
and words are more dangerous
than churchy,


and get us thrown into prison,
not to speak of what happens
when we try to heal our poor neighbors
of the justice wounds
that keep them begging.


Did I mention health care,
for the body and for the mind,
rights of indigenous peoples
throughout the earth,


and care for the earth,
O sweet groaning earth-loving Spirit,


veterans’ justice and immigrants’ justice,
an end to gun tragedy,
addictions, homelessness,
hunger, human trafficking?


What Pentecost costs,
if it is going to mean anything at all —
is a lot of breaking silence,


and so much listening
to the languages of our neighbors,
not just yesterday,
and not just tomorrow or election day,
but when we’re all singing carols,
or wearing ashes


and, of course, always and everyday
spending our love like red. 

© Maren Tirabassi,