Soft Shoulder



Winter It is written in the Gospel of Matthew 11:27 that Jesus said,


Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,

                    and I will give you rest.


During this cold, snowy, ice-filled winter, we may be feeling quite tired from the efforts the weather demands. Perhaps this beautiful invitation of Jesus has come to mind, or perhaps not.  In either case, these precious words we know so well, but can sometimes forget, resonate within us anew when their meaning is expressed differently. 


This poem by Kabir (1440-1518), north Indian mystic, poet, musician, reformer, weaver, husband and father may be just the right thing to remind us to let go of our cares and to rest securely on the shoulder of our loving and gentle God.



I Would be Glad


You are sitting in a wagon being

drawn by a horse whose


you hold.


There are two inside of you

who can steer.


Though most never hand the reins to Me

so they go from place to place the

best they can, though

rarely happy.


And rarely does their whole body laugh

feeling God's poke

in the



If you feel tired, dear,

my shoulder is soft,

I'd be glad

to steer a



—Kabir (tr. Ladinsky)


From the Penguin publication Love Poems From God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the

East and West. Copyright © 2002 Daniel Ladinsky and used with his permission


Veronica Blake