Hold Out Your Hand by Julia Fehrenbacher

Let’s forget the world for a while
fall back and back
into the hush and holy
of now

are you listening? This breath
invites you
to write the first word
of your new story

your new story begins with this:
You matter

you are needed—empty
and naked
willing to say yes
and yes and yes

Do you see
the sun shines, day after day
whether you have faith
or not
the sparrows continue
to sing their song
even when you forget to sing

stop asking: Am I good enough?
Ask only
Am I showing up
with love?

Life is not a straight line
it’s a downpour of gifts, please—
hold out your hand

Hold Out Your Hand

The invitation of this poem is one I could not resist – may it be so for you.

To begin is the invitation to forget the world for awhile, to listen to the hush and holy of now. In your next breath, to begin your new story, a story we all need to write: You matter / you are needed. Take a moment to breathe that in if you will.

The poet reminds us we do not need faith for the sun to continue to shine, for the sparrows to continue to sing their song even when you forget to sing yours. Does it happen sometimes that you forget your song? stop asking: Am I good enough? This is the wrong question; ask instead she tells us, Am I showing up with love?

The final invitation is please – hold out your hand for the downpour of gifts that life offers us. Life as it meanders up and down, into pain as well as joy, never a straight line. So please, yes, hold out your hand and receive it all, be willing to say yes / and yes and yes.

And here is one of mine for the season:

In the Darkness

Darkness is a poem

and tastes like chocolate,

rich, dark, a slight bitterness

that satisfies yet invites more.

In the darkness, there is room

for everything that is hidden

to be safe, to come forward

and be received as it must.

When we learn to see the darkness

as clearly as we see the light,

we will taste more deeply

the bittersweetness of this life.


15 thoughts on “Hold Out Your Hand by Julia Fehrenbacher

  1. Thank you Jan. As I sit sipping my morning tea, beginning to write my Christmas cards (late) I find such comfort in reading both poems you’ve shared. The world seems in such a sorry state and yet there truly are always treasures to be found almost everywhere – the brilliant read cardinal in the cedar hedge outside my window; in the safeness of the darkness and in everything that is love. Again thank you Jan for your gifts of poems. Love you, Lisa


  2. A delightful invitation, “Let’s forget the world for a while fall back and back into the hush and holy of now are you listening?” Thank you dear Jan for generously sharing beauty.


  3. Dear Jan – two beautiful poems, so apt for this season of giving and receiving! Such a potent reminder to turn from the idealized self asking “Am I good enough” [in whose eyes???] to “Am I showing up with love”. And I love the dark chocolate of your poem. Thank you! xoxoxo


  4. Thank you, Jan. I always experience a little thrill of joy when I see another Heart Poem arrive in my inbox. I love these 2 poems – equally, I think. You are a wonderful poet. Thank you, from my heart to yours.
    Christmas blessings,


  5. Beautiful invitation for the season. I feel called to attend to the turning inward and the turning to love an these poems reflect these complimentary movements.


  6. Dear Jan, I just wrote you a long message and, unfortunately, it looks like it vanished! I was searching for a David Whyte poem this afternoon and landed on your lovely page. I started reading and reading (and reading!) and fell in love with just about every poem you have posted here…and then came across my own poem. I love that my words get to live among all of the beautiful words that live here. Blessings to you.


    • Dear Julia, What a delight to hear from you and that you are enjoying Heart Poems. It gives me great pleasure to share the poems I love with others. The last stanza alone is one I return to often in difficult times because I need reminding: life is a downpour of gifts, and I hold out my hands. Deep gratitude to you for connecting and many blessings in return. Jan


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