"Anointed on Wednesdays"
We mix lavender with a jar from the top shelf
in the old kitchen cupboard,
cooking oil made holy and wonderful with strong scent.
Sometimes we laugh into this ordinary mystery
while the bowl is passed around.
We say the words
moving our fingers over the temples of strangers and friends –
up and down, side to side.
Sure, it is just oil.
But the minutes are sacred since
we stand so close together,
seeing each other with truth and courage
speaking the ancient recipe for relief and belonging:
You are a beloved child of God.
If you are standing near Linda
you hold the bowl for her, too;
if you are with Johnny
you offer your eyes and gently guide his hand to another.
There is no rush.
We are not more or better anointed when this is accomplished easily
so we move the gift about with openness and wonder.
Her eyelashes flutter because it is good news.
He holds your gaze because he needs it.
Then you pass the bowl with anticipation
for your turn
because after all these years
there is a rush to this claim on your life.
When you notice its shine in the mirror that night
you are glad to be chosen beyond yourself.