A Poet’s Voice

~by Paula Veloso Babadi

But you, O Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts up my head.

Psalm 3:3

I once read a book called Balcony People by Joyce Landorf Heatherley. In the slender volume, she packed a lot of wisdom that twenty years later, I still remember.  Some people are in the “balconies” of our lives offering their hand to lift us up to stand on the balcony with them.

My boss is one of those people. Her favorite catch phrases imprinted on classic gray plaques tell visitors in her office that “It’s all good” and “No worries”. Just a few months ago when my co-workers and I faced re-organization and displacement, our department leader- conflicted herself at having to choose who would go and who would stay- was kind, positive, and encouraging.

Rather than pulling people down to the “basement”, balcony people get through life’s hurdles with a positive outlook, gratitude for life’s blessings and a desire to lift others up. I wanted to be a balcony person when I read about them twenty years ago and I want to be a balcony person now.

My boss is a great example for me at work. In life, Jesus presents the perfect model of a balcony person. During those times when I feel alone, or dragged down, dwelling in the basement, I try to remember the “Footprints” poem.  I know that our Lord is always with me not to take away the pain or troubles, but to carry me through them.

This poem, written over two hundred years ago, speaks to his presence ever with us throughout our lives.  He is our ceaseless balcony person whether we are aware or not, and in those times when we need lifting, he carries us over his shoulders to a place we cannot reach alone.

We May Not Climb the Heavenly Steeps

John G. Whittier 1807-1892


We may not climb the heavenly steeps
To bring the Lord Christ down;
In vain we search the lowest deeps,
For Him no depths can drown.


But warm, sweet, tender, even yet
A present help is He;
And faith has still its Olivet,
And love its Galilee.


The healing of the seamless dress
Is by our beds of pain;
We touch Him in life’s throng and press,
And we are whole again.


Through Him the first fond prayers are said
Our lips of childhood frame;
The last low whispers of our dead
Are burdened with His Name.


O Lord and Master of us all,
Whate’er our name or sign,
We own Thy sway, we hear Thy call,
We test our lives by Thine!


Paula Veloso Babadi has worked in the health care industry for over thirty five years, but her true passion is poetry. She is a member of the St. John’s Chapter of the national Catholic Writers Guild and a regular contributor to the St. Joseph’sReflections Newspaper. Growing up in England and Pensacola with her Filipino and British parents and marrying into her Iranian family, she now lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband, daughter and nearby three grown sons and grandchildren.


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