— Vuong Vu
The cathedral is the city’s heart of stone,
its bell towers sing on Sunday mornings.
Vuong Quoc Vu listens to the silence
between the echoes of the bells,
hoping to hear the voice of God.
God spoke to him once in his childhood,
and what he heard was clear
as if thunder had spoken
What the Voice told him was to feed people,
and that message shook him to his knees.
Then the skies closed up again, and he was left
with silence so deep he could hear the breathing
of his cells. For thirty years, he has fed people ,
thirty years, a life of bread and kindness,
and words to give hope and sustenance.
Thirty years he waited to hear that voice again!
This Sunday morning, in the dark
of the cathedral, he opens up all of himself—
his heart raw, his heart ready to receive—
and he listens to the silence, that aching silence,
the dying ringing of bells. Oh, that Voice
he heard once, had that voice been a calling
from his own hungry heart?