There is no other?

Before the recent posts and the various comments, so un-influenced by them Elly sent me this poem.

we say there is no ‘other’
and we find a sandpit
we say not me
and dig a hole
we say there is no pain
and we lower ourselves to the ground
we say look at us
and our heads disappear
and when we emerge
we are blind.

Keeping Faith

Tricia (and Noel) Richards have been faithful friends over decades, and like so many of us have sought to respond to the winds of heaven, when they blow in convenient and also inconvenient directions! Tricia sent me this poem a short while ago… I think it will resonate for many. I personally loved the ‘I’m taking a different route’ lines / sentiment. First a short intro by Tricia, then the poem.

Several years ago someone asked me if I was having a crisis of faith. My immediate reply was, “No, but I am having a crisis of culture”. The ensuing years saw a shift not only geographically but spiritually and culturally. Many of the beliefs, ideas and thoughts that I had embraced were examined and sifted. This piece of poetry in some ways explains the journey that I have been on.

Keeping Faith

I’m taking a different route
It might be a long way round
But if we should meet along the way
Please greet me without prejudice
Or judgement
Be happy for the liberty I’m finding
It would be such joy
Such freedom for us both
Maybe we can really see each other
In this different light

I did not want my cynicism to drown me
And so I stepped away
Though some would say I fell
But really
My weary worn out heart just needed space
To find a quiet more simple path
Without the probing questions
Or the looks of loving deep concern
Memorials and signposts
Had began to look the same
And any facade that I had built
And happily decorated my life with
Tumbled as I walked away

I took the faith I’d tried to comprehend
Stepped outside a culture
That was all I’d ever known
And sought a different view
It’s not that you were wrong or I was right
It’s just I couldn’t see the way ahead from where I stood
Without the rules and constraints
All expectations stopped
And so the life I could not seem to blend with
All the things I no longer cared so deeply for
Fell away
Like leaves at autumns calling .

I found that I was left with God unchanged
In the silence His love remained
It never missed a beat
Love continued like Niagara falling
Stronger than all my fears
Bigger than the total sum of all my investment
Deeper than everything I had heard or learned
God Immense and vast
And from His storehouse
Treasures old and new came to me
As I continue on my way
I’m just taking a different route .

A ditty for August

August – some good birthdays this month. Maybe some birthdays of some good people? Also my birthday. I have always enjoyed getting older – always something more to look forward to, ever the hope of maturing… OK just a little. I wrote this today on the first day of the month. To be read fairly quickly I think.

There are many challenges facing the world, with ecology and poverty right at the top. When I write of changing the world we certainly have challenges ahead, so I am focused on an increase of conversion where Jesus is seen – even if ever so dimly. Anyway here goes…

I used to believe we could change the world
That was then in the
good young days
passion and clarity
only this or that
in and out
safe or lost.

Then but now
how many changes and shifts
in the years that have passed.
Assessments of what was said, what was done
reflections that re-position.

I used to believe but now
I see how the world
has a gift to bring about change in the likes of you and me.
No longer naive and oh so mature
or still naive and immature just
in a different way
I have felt the impact of the world
Of God’s world converting me, turning me to see
what was always there. A world
full of the image of God, a reflection of heaven,
distorted and twisted, yet perhaps
no more than I was those years ago.

Grateful for years that shift focus
still faith at the centre
I still believe we can change this world.

Converted to the world there are possibilities in every turn.
Dialogue with the high and mighty might be good
But to sit with a child and to truly see them would be better by far
I used to believe but did not really see
for when a who becomes a what
love is lost and belief becomes
a means to an end not the bridge from there to here and from tomorrow to now.

I believe we can change the world. We, together
those who truly see and give
those who dimly see Jesus.

If I can see I believe.

Invitation to live

Elly Lloyd sent me this piece she wrote… So with permission here is ‘Invitation to Live’.

Live daringly
      on the edge of the precipice
        by the river of righteousness
 knowledgeably in knowing
      and being known
 poured out
      but not lost
   passionate in My true image


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