From Just the Right Distance

From Just the Right Distance

(A poetic reflection on John 2:1-12)

Daily Office Readings for Friday, January 14, 2022: AM Psalm 16, 17; PM Psalm 22; Gen. 6:1-8; Heb. 3:12-19; John 2:1-12

Every time I read about the Wedding at Cana

I remember those times, 

Too numerous to count,

That my mom or grandmother told me,

“I know you’re hesitant, but you can do that.

Just go out

And give it your best shot.

Now quit hanging around me

And get out there and take a stab at it!”


And then they would push me out the door

Or towards the batter’s box

Or put gas in my car

And send me back to college for my finals.

And sometimes I failed.

But mostly I didn’t,

And even if I did, 

I had an idea how to do it differently next time.


I remember all those glances back

Or those phone calls home,

Whether it was after crossing home plate,

Or delivering a speech to an entire auditorium,

Or taking a new job,

Or buckling down to study hard and raise my grade.

All it took

Was the glance back “like they knew all along”

Or the tone in their voices on the phone,

To affirm that, indeed, I’d done the best I could,

Even if I’d failed.


And in the story,

Even though John never recorded it,

I am almost certain

That there was a moment in that story,

When the water became wine,

That Jesus looked over at his mom,

Standing off to the side,

At an unobtrusive distance,

(Just the right distance, actually)

His mom slowly nodded

And wordlessly told him,

“You’ve got this, son.

Now stop hanging around me 

And get out there and do what needs to be done!”


Maria Evans splits her week between being a pathologist and laboratory director in Kirksville, MO, and gratefully serving in the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri , as Interim Priest at Trinity-St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Hannibal, MO. 


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