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Day 9: Shelter

Headers Advent Las Posadas (1)

Editor’s Note: On this ninth day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” DC Service Corps volunteer Victoria Wangler writes a moving poem about God being a shelter throughout her life. 

Hold it in your hands.

Touch it in the air.


Inhale the breath and feel 

the earth as it slips in there.


        the only way out is through

        the wound is the place where light enters


Tell it to me then–

thirteen and afraid.

        Falling to my knees without the answer.


Whisper it to me now–

twenty-two and hungry.

        Hearing Your voice ring out like a cantor’s.


I find You in the darkness,

behind my eyes and in the night.


I feel You in the morning,

in dew soft and clouds bright.


My fingertips on coarse bark,

my back to the timber frame.


My lips, trembling.

My eyes, failing all the same. 


And You come to me, my God.

You come over me like a sacred force.


I yield to You, Great Creator.

I surrender my heart to Your course.


Count me among Your songbirds

that weather out the storms.


Blessed am I to be like a raindrop

who lives and dies and is reborn.


Reborn to life, again and again.

Praise ever on my lips.


Rising once more from my former self,

my heart breaking to hold space for this:


the Love You gave us

and Your promises of old.


Thank You, my God. Thank You, my Lord.

You are my shelter through it all. 

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Hailing from the town of Honeoye Falls in Upstate New York, Victoria Wangler graduated from St. Bonaventure University in May 2021 with her Bachelor of Arts. Victoria double majored in Professional & Creative Writing and English Literature and minored in Marketing and Spanish. She is excited to grow her skills in donor relations, communication, and data organization during her year working as an office associate for Franciscan Mission Service. In her free time, Victoria enjoys reading, writing poetry, gardening, and cooking. She is looking forward to deepening her spirituality and faith as she lives and serves alongside her community members in the Casa this year.