We Have Nothing

I was reading Claire’s blog this morning and she quoted Jessica Powers. Powers was a Carmelite nun and poet; you can read more about her at this link.

Reading Powers’ words suddenly drew me back to another chapter of my life; one early in my return to Church. A then-priest then-friend of mine gave me a book of Jessica Powers’ poetry and this helped me to find my way when I felt lost.

Then I went looking around and found this gem.

If You Have Nothing
The gesture of a gift is adequate.
If you have nothing: laurel leaf or bay
no flower, no seed, no apple gathered late,
do not in desperation lay
the beauty of your tears upon the clay.
No gift is proper to a Deity;
no fruit is worthy for such power to bless.
If you have nothing, gather back your sigh,
and with your hands held high, your heart held high,
lift up your emptiness!
Jessica Powers, OCD

We have nothing, that is for certain. All is gift, all is from God. And no gift is proper for such a generous God.

So today, I will simply do as Powers’ suggests; I will gather my sigh, hold my hands and my heart up and reveal that great emptiness to this great God that brings us from nothing to everything.

Thanks be to God.


4 thoughts on “We Have Nothing

  1. Lifting up our emptiness… Oh, Fran, this is so incredibly true and liberating somehow. Thank you for this poem. Knowing that Jessica Powers has been a companion of your own journey makes this a very good reason to get to know her a lot better.Thank you.


  2. Oh Fran, you have no idea how much I needed this today, a really tough day when I feel as though there nothing but emptiness left. Thank you…Andie


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