My friend, Nola, was ordained yesterday. She is a woman of grace and goodness and beautiful gifts for ministry. My life has been richer for having known her. She asked me to write a poem for the ordination service, drawing inspiration from a painting by a mutual friend of ours. Here’s the stunning painting and the poem . . .

Ordination

Rooted in Love, Kathy Ammon

For Nola on the Occasion of Her Ordination

 . . . we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses . . . Hebrews 12:1

It comes fleetingly into view as all clouds do:
vivid and substantial one minute,
wispy and ephemeral the next—
a memory, an impression, a happy dream.

And like all clouds its parts are magnificently varied:
some dramatic, even daunting in their appearing,
some subtle and shy and silently beautiful.
All of them harbingers of heaven.

These God-bearers, gift-givers, promise-keepers,
who with a single word or a torrent of words,
a momentary look or the sustained attentiveness of years,
revealed in her what she could not see.

This cloud of witnesses, today vivid and substantial,
still touches her for good.
For the work ahead.
Showering forth grace and blessing.