This beautiful poem by R S Thomas was read to us today during our annual Deacons’ Day of Reflection.  It encapsulates the liminal place that is dear to us deacons:  neither outside nor in.

Do you want to know his name?
It is forgotten. Would you learn
what he was like? He was like
anyone else, a man with ears
and eyes. Be it sufficient
that in a church porch on an evening
in winter, the moon rising, the frost
sharp, he was driven
to his knees and for no reason
he knew. The cold came at him:
his breath was carved angularly
as the tombstones: an owl screamed.
He had no power to pray.
His back turned on the interior
he looked out on a universe
that was without knowledge
of him and kept his place
there for an hour on that lean
threshold, neither outside nor in.
– R S Thomas