Jacob … came to a special shrine at Bethel, from Abraham’s time, staying there for the night because the sun was going down.  He took one of the stones in the shrine to put it under his head for a pillow and then he lay down to sleep. He dreamed there was a ladder set up from earth, reaching up to heaven. And, behold, angels of God were ascending and descending on it! Genesis 28:11-12

Dreaming, Jacob saw God’s promise:

Behold, I am with you and protect you

for wherever you go, I will not leave you! Genesis 28:15

Dreaming, seeing transcendence in El,

immanence in Adonai, earth’s connection:

the holy Realm of covenant, in motion

up and down along a ladder,

angel messengers descending,

angel advocates ascending.


If I ascend to the Heavens, you are there. Psalm 139:8

Who is our connection, our Jacob’s ladder,

accompanying us, protecting us? She sees

the Numinous One, singing in His sight:

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;

now the earth can touch God’s glory.” Isaiah 6:3


Yet, having ascended, she descends;

with our mother, we sing: To you I lift up

my eyes, to One enthroned in Heaven! Ps 123:1

She is our ladder, mother He took home,

leading us along the Way: Our help in the name

of the LORD, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 124::8

Still we lament and sleep on a rock in this earthly space,

pleading Let us go to His dwelling place,

let us worship

at the footstool, Ps 132: 7

always clamoring,
climbing to Life’s rule.


Return to Lenten Poetic Meditations


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