When Janice Towndrow, author of the lovely poem you see here, saw this flowering tree in our alley, her breath caught in her throat and she exclaimed, ‘talk about God in the alley!’

Sanctuary

Beneath the city’s lofty shafts
Steel glazed with darkling panes
Sits a hallowed house of God
A place where goodness reigns.

A refuge and a haven
A shelter, a retreat
A place of caring friendships
The blessed place we meet.

A ragtag bunch assembles there
All part of one great host
But none are favoured, none ignored
Each one is loved the most.

And there disguised among them
Hark! Can you hear him speak?
The Son of God stands waiting
To sup with poor and meek.

And when the great doors open
With wings that stretch out wide
Embracing those who enter in
Receiving all outside

The hungering bodies rustle in
And hasten to the meal
Where simple fare prepared with care
Is served with love and zeal.

Now I’ve heard tell of wonders
Of red rain from above
That falls and covers everyone
and bathes with joy and love.

The walking wounded dance and sing
The place erupts in song
Assuring all without a doubt
“This is where I belong.”

Janice Towndrow

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