Birthday Song for Judith Searle

Birthday Song for Judith Searle

“Remember, O Lord, thy covenant, and put thou words in my mouth, and strengthen the resolution in my heart, that thy house may continue in thy holiness” (The Book of Judith).

Let’s clap hands together and sing
to celebrate this holy woman of the Light
who’s Biblical namesake washed herself with care

anointed with perfumed oils
then prostrated before the Lord’s power,
she walked into the midst of Holofernes’s army,

praying to be humble in Divine power
marked by beauty as a virtue,
the Assyrian General smitten with lust and wine.

Sing with cymbals and snare drums
this Judith come to restore order,
faithful servant of prayer and praise

to open her mouth to swallow a Divine tongue,
a holy, faithful woman ready to die for this cause,
saving her people by cutting off Holofernes’s head

holding it aloft,
spreading terror and fear to the massive enemy army.

Let’s clap hands together and sing
to follow this present-day Judith into mystic caverns
of Quaker silence, searching for unity beneath all the words,

open to chanting, her voice ringing out musical notes
as she stands up in the midst of Quaker worship
reciting the everyday visionary words

of Emily Dickinson, stopping for a carriage ride with Death
but now carried into the beginning and ending,
glimpses of eternity flowing into her,

caught up with and embraced by Immortality.