This was formed from the musings that led to the blog post, “The Vision to Envision.”

We sit across from each other
looking, but do we see
with vision clear of the limits
of our eyes clouded
by thoughts, fears, memories
shaping us to see
so that our tears come
blinding us to truth?

The tears come
wildly, furiously, why
can’t you see what
it is to see as I
see, to live from this
place, thoughts and fears
creating memories, shaping
me to see my truth?

We sit next to one another
looking, seeing but not
understanding, vision shaped
by thoughts, fears, memories now
with tears mingling as together
we open our eyes to see
our truths.

Copyright 2017 The Rev. Paula J. Toland


I wrote this poem several years ago.  It was during Holy Week. I had just begun to talk seriously with my priest about community discernment of my call to the priesthood.   It made sense to me to begin that process with confession and absolution so I asked for “Reconciliation of a Penitent” (the Episcopal Church’s pastoral office of private confession).  The impact on me, immediately and thereafter, is rich enough for at least one blog post (though I am not ready to offer it out that way), and included waking up the next morning with this poem almost fully formed in my heart and mind.

I am posting this as a photo because my dear, dear friend, Sue, of blessed memory, with whom I shared the poem soon after discovering it, asked another friend to create a beautiful handmade paper journal for me.  That friend interpreted it this way:

Poem on reconciliation

Copyright 2008 Paula J. Toland

I wrote this on January 13, 2018.  It is based on 1 Samuel 3:1-20, which is about God’s call to Samuel

The silence speaks
The silence is full
of longing, wisdom of ages
Listen! to her
speaking unsaid thoughts,
naming fears,
dreaming hearts’ desires,
asking you
to Listen! to her
call your name.
The silence is full.
God speaks.

Copyright 2018 The Rev. Paula J. Toland

This was written from a bit of my Easter 2017 sermon


The empty tomb is not
really empty, but full
of God’s love for all
people, full of the promise
from God to all
people, full of the life
given for and to
us, full
of the promise of Easter,
all things are possible,
with God

Copyright 2017 The Rev. Paula J. Toland

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