Found in the Archives
Recently found in the archives of Scarritt Bennett Center were several poems written by Elizabeth Watson regarding Wightman Chapel. It is assumed that Miss Watson was a student, but that is yet unverified and no date is known. Even so, the poems express the sacred nature of the chapel. During this season of Lent, I think these poems are worth sharing and may inspire you to write of your sacred places.
The Chapel The Chapel Doors
The chapel The chapel doors are beauty-carved,
Holds the fragrances The chapel doors swing wide,
Of many years of prayers, That he whose mind is seeking God,
And lingering incense floats, May find a peace inside
From worshipping of myriad hearts; A peace of twilight fragrances,
The mellow walls Of music starred with prayer,
Smile softly at their golden memories, A peace that helps the weary heart,
And breathe upon receptive souls To find God’s presence there.
A gentle benediction;
“God is here.”
As I sit The sunlight
Within the chapel, Plays upon the windows
And look Of the chapel –
Up Those windows high,
At the high, stained windows, All arched and stained
I cannot see With beauty,
The trees beyond, And, as it plays
Yet It brings forth
I am sure Music,
That trees are there. All day long
Because? Its notes are wrought
Because their lacy shadows move In harmony divine –
In rhythmic grace The clear, keen bars
Across the panes, Of early morning,
And thus it is And mellow lyric
Within that temple Of the noon,
Of my spirit- With hushed hosannas
I see not God, Of the evening vespers,
Yet know His presence Merge into
As, A glorious anthem,
With grateful, healing touch, Lifted to
There falls The great Musician.
Across my weary day
The shadow of His wing.
May your Lenten journey be full of courage, hope and the sense of God’s continued presence as you once again approach Easter with your soul refreshed and renewed. Think on the sacred places in your life!
Joyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, a teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, quarterly retreats, and art exhibits.