Soul Speak: A Poem for the Season

“As soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit” (Luke 1: 41)

Soul Speak.
It is the language of the Incarnation.
To the rationalist, it is unintelligible; to the mystic, the native tongue.

Soul Speak.
It is the language that made and keeps me as one
with Sarah.

Soul Speak.
It is the language that prompts my confessor
to call or visit at the most unpredictable – but perfect – times.

Soul Speak.
It is the source of the compassion that compelled me
to apologize to Nan as her son – my friend – was dying.

Soul Speak.
It is the language that overwhelms me with tears
during morning prayers or while walking in the woods.

Soul Speak.
It is the language that compels me to approach strangers
with a smile.

Soul Speak.
It is the language of family and friends,
for those despairing and despondent.

Soul Speak.
It is the language that ignites the spirit of peace
through the arts.

Soul Speak.
It is the language that calls us to love all of humanity
with mercy, grace, and hope.

Soul Speak.
It is the language that compelled John to leap
in Elizabeth’s womb upon the greeting from Mary.

Soul Speak.
It is the language
of the Master of my heart.

© Michael Barrick, 2015. Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash


  1. Thanks, Michael, for the gift of these words as we celebrate the gift of God’s Spirit in our lives.

  2. I’ve been quietly ‘sitting’ with this for a few days, as there is a ‘soul stirring’ sensation within me that this was not simply a coincidental posting.  While I’ve not been able to identify a clear and distinct connection, this posting arrived at a time when in my quiet moments, I’ve been reflecting upon ‘family mortality’.  On Mother’s Day weekend, I traveled to central Illinois to celebrate my sister’s 70th birthday.  Her kids arranged for a birthday dinner, at which there were about 25 immediate family members.  I suppose that event is what has had me more recently reflecting on the family.  Both parents, as well as all the aunts and uncles on both sides of my family, are now deceased.  That leaves me, my siblings, and first cousins – about 20 in all – who are now the ‘family elders’.  Given that our ages are now in the 70’s and 60’s, and that there have been no deaths in this family group, statistically we are soon going to start dying.  Who will go first, and in what order, and from what causes, there’s no way of knowing.  But, it’s going to start happening shortly.  I know this line of thinking can be regarded as rather morbid, but I’ve been considering it from a happier viewpoint.  At age 73, I’m the 2nd oldest of this family generation.  The oldest is a cousin who turned 76 this year.  Overall, I consider myself exceedingly rich in memories and experiences, and having been blessed with a life of great fulfillment.  So, as we begin dying, yes, there will be sadness at the loss, but for me, that will be a somewhat superficial emotion.  For me, there will be great gratitude and joy over the fact that life for me has been such a blessing. So for what it’s worth, that’s the gist of what’s been ruminating with me at the point where your ‘soul speak’ posting came through.  Considering that the Barrick family has been and is as close and special in my life as my blood family, my reflection on ‘family mortality’ has included the Barrick’s as well.  Again, I don’t know when any of us will ‘pass on’, but when it happens, I will feel indescribably blessed that you are family.  Alan 

    From: Appalachian Chronicle To: Sent: Sunday, June 4, 2017 1:47 PM Subject: [New post] Soul Speak #yiv5472120261 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv5472120261 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv5472120261 a.yiv5472120261primaryactionlink:link, #yiv5472120261 a.yiv5472120261primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv5472120261 a.yiv5472120261primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv5472120261 a.yiv5472120261primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv5472120261 | Michael M. Barrick posted: “A poem at PentecostBy Michael M. BarrickFor Christians that follow a liturgical calendar, Pentecost is a commemoration of the beginning of the church, as read about in Acts 2: 1-11.  This poem, while originating from a long, ongoing dialogue about th” | |

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