We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines. — Maya Angelou, A Brave and Startling Truth.
I am a big fan of Maya Angelou. She has an Arkansas connection and she once wrote a wonderful story about my good friend, Charles Bussey. I am also a big fan of this poem. I love the image of a haughty neck happy to bow, and a proud back glad to bend.
We are at our best when we don’t use our strength to harm or threaten, but when we use that same strength in humility and warmth. A friend once called me “a poet in a football player’s body.” I like the poet part.
As you meditate this morning consider how can I use my strength in kindness and service.