Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Prodigal's Return


 another from the archives

Soft, kindly waiting, reaching forth to me;
All of His patience waits for my return;
To fold me in His love, replenish me,
And soothe the aching needs that toss and burn.

Why am I then so slow to turn to Him?
Knowing His love, my folly runs away!
All richness dwells in Him, all plenitude;
Yet, from His liberality I stray!

The deserts of my painful emptiness,
The dreary desolation of the heart
Adrift from God, sin's mocking loneliness,
Are things in which the wise man has no part.

I will have done with husks! My Father's love
Is all my true desire. His pastures green
Have a dear beauty. I will rise and go,
Returning where I should have always been.

I will confess my sorriness and sin;
Before my Father's throne speak out my shame.
Oh, how I long His doorkeeper to be;
His slave, His servant, dare I make such claim?

His love forestalls me! Ah, His grace! His grace!
The warmth of His embrace for such as I,
Who fled His love so long! The robe! The ring!
For me, the fatted calf led forth to die!


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Being Triggered

There are many types of abuse, and many types of victims. Some have been totally shattered by what they went through, but there are so many others who carry their pain on the inside, and the world knows little about it


In the dreadful place of greyness
Some far dungeon of the soul
Where we lock away the memories
Never spoken, never whole.

In that place the body carries
Terrors which it cannot name
And we feel ourselves grow tighter
With old helplessness and shame.

Shadows on the mind’s projection
Out of focus, oddly clear,
The deep waters of rejection
Where our monsters reappear.

Where the flesh, made taut, remembers
Every pain the mind can’t hold.
Carries, like a cup of acid,
Wounds untended, fear controlled.

Never speaking, never showing
Primal dread that roils inside:
Half ignored, half overwhelming,
But we tamp it down with pride.

We are legion, walking wounded,
Sisters, brothers, lovers, friends,
Pilgrims to the heart of mercy,
The grace-place where torment ends.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Sleeping Beauty


just a fairy tale princess, or is she?

She waits inside the frozen place
While the world is turning, turning
Waits for the benison of grace
Deaf to its yearning.

She waits through blossom’s bloom and fall
Leaf drop and the brown fruits’ drying;
Through winters like a world in thrall,
But the heart keeps crying.

She waits while stars in heaven spin
And the circling earth grows blinder;
She waits, but still cannot name him:
The one who’ll find her.

She waits, and thorns grow sharply round
Her heart, so benumbed and hidden,
His kiss is still a rumoured sound
Its time forbidden.

She waits. She waits for her true king,
Enchanted till his returning,
The world does not know anything
All undiscerning.

She waits, but he is coming soon,
He will lift her from her slumber
To a place more fair than sun or moon,
Past night’s encumber.

She waits, forgotten and alone,
But then the whole world beholding,
Sees her great beauty, not her own,
His love’s unfolding.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Compassion


He hangs between earth and sky, a thing from which men turn away their eyes. The prophet had once mourned the fall of Jerusalem, lamenting “look and see if there is any sorrow like unto my sorrow”; but now he hangs there, outside the city, cast aside as one too impure to be within its walls, the very one for whom Jerusalem was built, the one for whose worship the temple existed. But when he came unto his own, his own received him not; when he came to cleanse the temple, so that it could be a house of prayer for all nations, the very ones who were supposed to bring the people to God, seethed against him in hatred and plotted to kill him.

And now their hour had come.  When God would not be tamed to their advantage, they strung him up between earth and sky, and believed that two beams of wood and a handful of nails represented the victory of their chosen way.  They did not know that he wore the thorns of Adam’s curse as a crown upon his brow, they did not care that the trilingual sign above his head declared him to be king. They would not have this man to rule over them, and that was the end of the matter. Soon he would be ended, and that would be that. In other words, they did not understand anything that was happening that day.

But he did. He knew exactly what was happening, and why, and every particle of his pain was part of his purpose. God knew what it was to be forsaken by God. God, pure and perfect, tasted the full awfulness of sin, drank to the very last drop the cup that had been prepared for him – fire in his veins and the agony of every hell pressed down upon his soul. The immortal took on death. There was no passion like his passion, there was no compassion like the compassion of the one who died for the very sake of those who had rejected him.

But still there was no limit to his love. One hung beside him, likewise crucified, but this one suffered for his own crimes. He was not a good man, and no one cared for his fate. But, as pain stripped his illusions away, he saw something that the “righteous” of Israel were blind to. And, like drowning men are prone to do, he grasped at it. “Lord!” he cried with his struggling breath, “remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Jesus didn’t have to answer. Locked into unimaginable pain, with everything he was locked down into the struggle for the salvation of humanity, what strength did he have left to comfort a criminal? But he did. With unimaginable love he reached through his pain to speak out his promise. “Today you will be with me in paradise,” he said.

And still his compassion has no limits.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Prayer for a friend 24/9/92

another oldie .. I'm not even quite sure who i wrote this for, ot why


Be with him, Father, for the night is cold,
And stark uncertainty is hard to bear.
Show him his path, (You only are the Way).
Even in dimness, let him know You there.

Let Your light shine wherever it must fall:
Whether as beacon, signalling his road,
Or as a searchlight turned upon his heart,
Be all his answer, for You are his God.

Be to him comfort in the lonely place
Of the heart's seeking. Answer to his cry
With tenderness, with fullness of Yourself.
Give his heart wings, and teach him how to fly.

Show him that thing which he needs most to learn.
Guide him to drink from waters of delight;
And lead him, hand in hand, till he finds rest,
Your perfect peace, the glory of Your light.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Metamorphosis

another from the archives -- this one addressed to a caterpillar


Green one, your long-lunched feeding days are over;
In this, known form, there's nowhere left to grow.
Things stir within, undreamt of fears possess you;
Dearly you would remain with what you know.

But, law unalterable, that bids the lush leaves
Change to strange hues and drop from their safe tree;
That bids the moon transmute to hidden rhythms,
And binds the lives of all the things which be,

Calls you to destiny, till now a rumour
Of alien glory you can't comprehend.
The days of youthful ignorance are fleeting.
The only life you know comes to an end.

What is a butterfly? It were as easy,
To talk to earthly men of heavenly things.
Your sceptics say cocoons are final darkness,
How dare a caterpillar dream of wings?

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Hug

another from the archives


In the held warmth of this desired embrace
I am at rest. Your kindness touches me.
This, too, is evidence of given grace:
I, by your affirmation, am set free.

For, when all words are said, I simply stand
In frail humanity, to be your friend;
But, by the willing outreach of your hand,
You give a gift on which I can depend.

I would adorn you with the tenderness
Of my affection, gentle and sincere;
Gift that my clumsy tongue cannot express,
Gesture that says I hold you very dear.

After that treasured moment, we will take
Our separate pathways with a warmer glow.
For love has eased the solitary ache.
There is a healing, kindness can bestow.