by Andrew Taylor-Troutman
There is need of only one thing… Luke 10:42
Thomas Merton claimed he could judge the spiritual depth of a fellow monk, not by the fervor of how he prayed, but his attention to sweeping the floor, meaning the concentration he gave to a menial, everyday chore. We tend to understand truth as either/or, when the paradox is really both/and— both action and contemplation. In one of Louise Penny’s novels, an artist finds beauty in the bubbles of dishwashing soap in a dirty pot— she noticed the tiny rainbows before they popped.
Andrew Taylor-Troutman is the author of Gently Between the Words: Essays and Poems. He is the pastor and head of staff at Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church in North Carolina. These poems were originally written for Sunday worship services.