The Poem, “The Art of Paying Attention”

PATHWAYS’ star facilitator, Min. Regina Drake, writes and recites a gift of poem to the Level 1 graduating participants.

The commencement worship service took place on March 22, 2015, at the beautiful sanctuary of Church of Savior, UCC in Knoxville, TN.


The Art of Paying Attention

for Ceil, Amber, Kim, Dennie, Linda, Rochelle and Bonnie


Genesis 28:16-22

“One remedy for my condition is to pay attention to them when I can, even when they are in my way, just for a moment, I pay attention to the human being instead of the obstacle.”

                                                       Barbara Taylor Brown from An Altar in the World.


We have learned to feel
Through a screen devoid
Of feeling,
We have learned to touch
Across miles and across time—
What a wondrous thing
It is to pay attention
To what God
Has placed
Right before
Our very eyes.

So often we have looked
And not seen the ones
Before us or worse,
Been annoyed
By the distraction
They represent—
We are busy people
Our lives screaming
Constantly for actions,
Places we must get,
Tasks to finish,
Deadlines meet.

And here comes
This obstacle
Making us miss the light
When we could be across,
On our way down the road,
An interruption
To our set agendas,
And we missed God too
In the eyes of
A human being.

But we have learned
To hear words on a screen
And not by chance
But to make us better
On our paths–
Words rhythmic and rich
As if delivered by full voices
With hands gesturing,
Punctuating shared thoughts–
Pathos, humor, lives
To give and to receive.

We created space
for God to walk among us
In blue Christmases,
Huge bibles noticed gone,
Dance poured out like prayers
To One who listens well
And bids us do the same
To what the heart will tell.
Lives offered up
In singular sacred moments
Where we encountered God
And built an altar there,
Naming it “Fresh Water”
Flowing justice, love, peace–
We worshipped fully
Trusting God was pleased.

We build an altar there
With what we had in hand
To mark the place,
Knowing God was pleased.


Regina Harris Drake
Pathways Level 1 Graduation 3/22/2015

2 thoughts on “The Poem, “The Art of Paying Attention”

  1. What a wonderful tribute to the PATHWAY students … and to the program. Congratulations to all — to Regina, to the students, & to Sarah!

    • Hi Randy, thanks for checking up on us–yes, we are all grateful to see the pilot cohort bunch reach their finish line. I hope you’re doing great where you are!

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