Sunday, April 27, 2014

Dancing with the dark

A wee poem which came to mind as I read a post called, Dancing with the darkness by a friend of Cat's, Tanya Marlow.  I'd urge you to read her post as it is very honest and incredibly helpful for anyone who's facing a darkness in their life.

Dancing with the dark
I looked out the window and there it stood
My darkness
It stared at me
Waved at me
In its eyes, it said "I'm here.
You can close the curtains
But I am still here.
I am not going away."
My fears and trepidations
stared me straight in my eye.
I raised my hand to the curtain
took a bunch of cloth in my hand
This soothing shield
These patterned blinkers
Drowning out the sound of his voice
Blinding me to his presence
Blanketing my thoughts in soft and warming activities
Things which are good and wonderful
Bright and cheerful
But cannot remove the dark
I raise my hand to the other curtain,
ready to slam them across
and block out the sight, the sound, the memory
if only temporarily
to forget.
But then I decided
I would not shy away
I would hide from my dark no more.
I dropped my hands to my side
And flicked on the light
Brightness shone behind me
light flicked around the window pane
I looked at my dark
I stared it square in the eye
And I decided
I shall dance with my darkness
I shall face my fears
Not alone, for the light is with me
He took my hand in a battle-like grip
And I met his forward step.
We danced and spun,
Pirouetted and jived,
Tangoed and street danced,
Threw our bodies around through all he could give
and with the light, I gave as good as I got.
We danced together, the dark and I,
I did not shy away.
And it controlled me no more
but I learned from the light
to let go my control
and find the strength of the light in the darkness
For how could I learn to dance with my enemy
If I did not take the first step?
I chose to embrace that which frightens me most
My enemy
My darkness
And I danced with my darkness
feeling the light at my side
For the darkness has followed me
All of my life
Yet, in that moment
As we danced, the darkness and I,
My fear fell away
The darkness' power was broken.
Exhausted, we collapsed
On my living room floor
My darkness eyed me,
And at last, I held its stare,
I slept like a babe
With the light all around
Knowing full well
That the darkness was there.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter Bunnies and Jesus

Sometimes I wonder about the Easter bunny
I wonder, have you?

Chocolate for all, often for free
Laid out in secret, hidden cunningly
Underneath trees or hidden in bushes
Watching children searching with giggles and pushes?
Does he spy on the kids to see how they react?
I picture him hiding with binoculars and camouflaged hat
And where does a rabbit get that kind of chocolate?
Does he have a machine like a giant sweet magnet,
To filter the sweetness of things around,
To make all the eggs which soon will be found?
And what about foil and the cardboard for boxes?
I think birds wrap the foil, and they're packaged by foxes!
And how does he get them in place for the day?
Why, an army of wildlife take them away
To the young and the old, to the rich and the poor
The bunny brings chocolate to everyone's door.

But it's not just a bunny who accomplishes much
Every year around Easter there's one other as such
His ears were not floppy, or his head crowned with flowers,
But he did wear a crown of thorns which were ours
In his hands not a basket all covered with ribbon
Instead was a cross bar with splinters all ridden
He didn't hop here and there in the sun or the chill
But he did take a crossbar up Calvery's Hill
The bunny takes nothing but leaves us a lot
Jesus takes our shame and pays full for the lot
Where the bunny gave chocolate all wrapped up with string
Jesus gave life, the best life in all Spring
The bunny will leave when the eggs are all gone
Jesus will stay til the journey is done.
The chocolate brings happiness for only a day
Jesus gives hope and life, chasing fear far away.

Sometimes I wonder about the Easter bunny
and all the chocolate treats he brings.
But, this Easter, Jesus comes as well
and forgiveness, hope and new life brings.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Everyone stood by (A Good Friday poem)

Everyone stood by
And watched as it happened
A man on a cross
Just a regular day
The criminals hung there
Like most weeks, together
Side by side
As justice held sway
Today felt no different
3 men nailed up there
Dignity denied
Guilt laid bare
The men on the side
Common men, locals, thieves
The man in the middle
What a following he leads
Well, led I suppose
After all it's all over
His road to Jerusalem
Ends with him doubled over
The pain and despair
Seemed etched on his face
Like part of him wished
One could stay in his place
Except that look seemed to say
"I have chosen this path
I will not look back
From this hardest of tasks."
This man in the middle
Cried out to his father
I don't blame the man
Nothing could be harder.
But scanning the crowd
No father was there
He looked down instead
On a woman he stared
His voice a hoarse whisper,
"Mother, this is now your son"
The most tender of love
He showed to this one
The afternoon rolled by
Then the central most man
Lifted eyes up to heaven, crying out
"Father, forgive them
Though they don't understand."
He looked on one man
Hanging there on that tree
His eyes spoke forgiveness
That could have been me.
A tear stained my face
Though I couldn't say why
When an ocean of blackness
Rolled on 'cross the sky
With a cry he looked up and then bowed his head
The air went dead still
Like the world took a breath
Then a sound burst up and out
Like a cheetah it leapt
It was like all creation
Had cried out and wept.
They poked him and prodded
He was dead as a stone
I suddenly realised
He died there alone
They lowered the cross bar
His friends took him away
Was this really the end?
Could this God man be dead?
Had his story concluded?
It just seemed too soon.
But that's not the end
In 3 days, look to the tomb.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Look at your neighbour (what do you see?)

A poem which came out of tonight's student celebration in worship. Looking around, what I saw was a crowd of neighbours. No different from me, but sinners wonderfully saved by Jesus.

Look at your neighbour
What do you see?
A different face, clothes?
An alternative me?
Do their eyes match your own?
Is their hair slightly grey?
If so, be careful not to
Mention that to their face
Do their eyes have a sparkle?
Does their smile hide a frown?
How would you describe them,
Or an up or a down?
Do they have it together?
Are they falling apart?
Only they and their Father
Know what's in their heart
Do the things that they do
Or the thoughts that they hide
Make any real difference
To their rightness inside?
Look at your neighbour
Are you surprised?
To your left and right
Are the shamed and despised,
Th shabby and broken,
The sad and depressed,
The ones who have tried as you did
And failed the test,
The fallen and sorry
Fill seats either side
Mixed checked shirts and gillets
Oh my, what a sight.
But, look past the picture
My friends, see the truth
When our Father looks on us
He cries, "I choose you!"
The humble and broken, my children,
I call them my own
If you look on my dear son
And call him your own
These brothers and sisters
Who sit to your sides
Have known tears and joy, love and pain
But most, they know me
I call them and you
Inheritors, my precious ones
For Jesus paid for you.
His blood makes you mine
So look at your neighbour,
I am you and you are me
Being changed to his image
Rejection forgiven,
At his side, a space
Brothers and sisters
Sinners, the shameful
Saved by grace.


Sunday, April 06, 2014

Forgetful child

Come my forgetful child, come
Look upon my pierced son
Look upon his nail-scarred hands
Think upon Heaven's renewed lands
Listen to the words he spoke
Open wide your eyes and look
To see the truth of Heaven's son
The Father's first and most beloved one
Stands there before the Father's feet
Each day he earnestly intercedes
That He who sent the rescuer
Might look on you with tender grace
Yes, look my child and clearly know
The love he has continually flows
From a Father's tender heart
Onto your poorly, sick and soiled heart
And changes you, each day some more
To know the good he has in store
When one day soon he takes you from these foreign shores
From all the pain and sorrow you feel
And brings you gently then to kneel
In light and life and holy wonder
Before the me who all of darkness sundered
And you know then as now in part
The true goodness of your Father's heart
Yes, look my forgetful child and know
The love I have for you will show
The most when you admit your sin
And feel my peace in you, deep within
So know your sin, but more my grace
Let my peace reign in guilt's place
For it holds no long-lasting sway
In hearts that choose to love my name
If you are mine, you're mine indeed
Jesus stands before me to intercede
Each sinful stain you had is gone
Washed clean by sweet Immanuel's blood
So stand up straight, dear soul rejoice
For the day you made me your own choice
Was the day that sin lost all it's power
Ruins, what remains of that strong tower
Though you oft forget, remember now
When Jesus died for you, he made you new
So stand up straight as God's child now
Each day being more renewed.
The Father loves you through his son
The perfect, true and lovely one
So you are pure and white as snow
Rise, my child and in my grace, go.