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The elevator ride

From the October 1981 issue of The Christian Science Journal

The doors slid shut,
enclosing a packed capsule of humanity.
Stomachs left behind
we plummeted earthward...

Glancing down, I spied
a toddler's snowy head
pressed hard, and blindly, to my leg.
"How terrifying" my quick compassion said
(terrifying enough at adult-sardine level!)

But quietly
yet clear enough for all to hear
above the sound of rushing air
a little voice . . . singing
in that unselfconscious way that proclaims innocence,

Until, our destination reached,
and spilling out onto the street,
I needed but a single glance
to ascertain the reason for his calm.
Yes, he was holding tightly to his father's hand.
No fear there!

Another time, another ride
that dropped me down to mental depths —
pressed hard on every side, and blinded too
by crowds of chaos, doubt, despair —
when suddenly
that snowy head came into view:
"Why, yes . . . I too can sing.
Am I not holding tightly to my Father's hand —
linked indissolubly,
even beyond holding . . . held
in God's infinite embrace?"
No fear there!

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