Permanent Loan


Steven Crandell

I was driving home tonight,

Navigating a moment of freedom.

And I understood:

My heart is on permanent loan from God.


Mine to use. God’s forever. Ours to share.

God’s goodness inside me.


I also understood that this is true of every being in the universe.

No amount of pain, shame, suffering or fear can change this.

My good heart. Our good hearts.

Unchangeable at our core: the very nature of being.

Foundation and liberation.

Seed, root, flower and fruit.


And my calling?

In the clarity of my dark drive,

That, too, was rendered:

To lend out this good heart on the same terms

That I received it.

To offer it to any being,

To all beings –

Without encumbrance.

— Steven Crandell

Author’s note: I use the word “God” here. But truth be told, I would be just as happy with Universe or Tao or Allah or YHWH or Sophia or anything that captures the feeling of the infinite connection all beings share. If “God” does not fit for you, please read the poem and substitute the word that does. Thank you.


Please note: If you would like to submit your poem for possible inclusion in one of the Spiritual Directors International publications, please send it to us here. We are particularly interested in spiritual poetry that explores contemplative themes and spiritual direction and companionship. 

Steven Crandell

Steven Crandell

Steven Crandell is the director of content and communities for SDI. He guides SDI’s storytelling and local community-building — on our website, our blog, social media, in our webinars and through our SDI Communities program. He sees spiritual companions as the catalyst in an ongoing “contemplative revolution.” His unofficial job title is “Director of Encouragement.”




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  1. Steven, Your poem immediately caught my heart, rendering a draw with tears and YES. I don’t have words to tell you more. I shook my head in affirmative nods, aware of all the Communities and communities. Aware of my own heart, weeping with the love I feel for others, from the overwhelming love given to me by God.

  2. What a beautiful response, Dawn. Thank you. It’s a testament to the connection we all share. “Aware of all the communities … aware of my own heart, weeping with the love I feel for others …” For me, there are two main ways of experiencing my life — connected or isolated. Only one way leaves me feeling the way you describe. Only one way opens the gate to the garden of compassion and joy. Thanks for your words this morning. Thanks for being part of our community. And thanks for who you are.

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