Teach us… ( a prayer)

Child and king,

vulnerable Lord,

gentle, powerful one,

suffering servant

risen

that we might rise,

teach us to worship you,

teach us to walk your paths,

to live your ways,

humbly, justly,

mercifully, kindly,

in love,

for love,

we call you

child and king,

vulnerable Lord,

gentle, powerful one,

suffering servant

risen

that we might rise,

teach us,

lead us

help us to find

the heart of you,

that we might receive,

and be life

for the world…

manger-and-cross

 Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own. ( 2 Corinthians 5: 14-15)

 

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wait….

Listen,

be still,

be silent

wait, for

the voice of wisdom

is singing

in the night…

 be still

be silent,

wait,

as she rises

from within

a song

you have always

known,

yet new,

ever new,

here is love,

here is power,

here is freedom,

here is mystery,

+

be silent,

be still,

wait….

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all will be well…

golden leaves cling to

nearly bare branches,

buffeted by the wind

lit by the bright November sun,

I watch and pray,

pray for the fragile world,

complex, diverse,

war-torn yet beautiful,

pray from my fragile soul,

holding within

a mix of hopes, desires,

 dreams,

joys, and sorrows,

a leaf falls,

the seasons are turning

again,

life given up,

life re-born,

all will be well,

all will be well…

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One…

I cannot describe

or contain you

with my words,

the more I add

the more

inadequate they are,

I stumble over my tongue,

but my heart soars

to catch even a glimpse

of your infinite glory,

knowing that I am known

with a knowledge beyond knowing,

loved with a love beyond loving,

draws me to a deep silence

where words are unnecessary,

heart beats, to heartbeats rythm,

we are one

there is no you and I,

no them and us,

we are one,

indescribable,

uncontainable,

mystery,

life and love….

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To walk open….

To walk,

Through the ascents

and decent of life,

open to possibilities,

challenges,

change,

choosing to learn

to be,

compassionate,

caring,

humble,

and

daring to see

the divine in the other,

knowing they too

are fearfully, wonderfully made,

showing mercy,

where mercy has not been shown,

seeking justice,

no matter what the cost,

to walk through

the ascents

and decents of life,

vulnerable,

open,

this is love….

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Stumbling on….

This week has been a strange week for me, a set back really in my recovery from depression; I have found it hard to motivate myself, twice I went back to bed because I did not have the energy for the day and Thursday was a real struggle with nothing in particular to point to to say that I had identified the cause of it, it has just been a hard week. There have been real times of blessing too, an unexpected encounter with a friend that was filled with grace, a mid-week silent meditation that was a real gift, and some amazing pastoral conversations with people who could rightly be miserable if they chose but are instead choosing life, and finding positives in every day.

The latter got me thinking, because phrases like “nobody wants to talk to a miserable person” and ” I shouldn’t complain” challenge me, and call me in turn to challenge them. Yes it is hard being with a miserable person, but pain and loss, doubt and despair can lead us to places of darkness that might well be called misery, but they are real experiences and should not be pushed away so easily. I got to thinking about Job’s comforters who really wanted to stop his lamenting and get on with life, offering ideas about his need for confession and repentance, they were trying to fix him because it was hard to be with him, but Job was not “ready” to be fixed, it took a deep encounter with God before he began to turn his life around, and while he received blessings I have no doubt that he also bore scars.

To bear our scars is hard, I suspect that is why the risen Christ comes to us with wounded hands, feet and side, to show us that we need not be afraid, and that while pain can be transformed the scars make us who we are, softer maybe, less brittle or critical, more accepting and loving because we know what it is to be broken. To bear our scars with grace means not hiding them from ourselves or from one another, to overcome the shame that demands we present ourselves as perfect, cheerful and uncomplaining. None of us are perfect of course, and the pressure to be perfect can be very unhelpful.

I have had a bad week, next week might or might not be better, but forcing myself to put on a mask of recovery is unhelpful, so please excuse me if I say I have had or am having a bad day, I am trusting you with honesty and asking you not to shame me. Yes I have many blessings in my life, and yes put into perspective against the suffering of the world I have very little to complain about, and yes some of my problems are of my own making, as I have said I am not perfect but what I need, and I suspect what you need is to be accepted and loved just as I am, right now.

Yes I want to be better, and yes there are things I can do to move towards that, to eat well, to exercise, to try to get enough sleep ( tough when it refuses to come), and most of all to pray, prayer helps me because I find myself held by the divine who is infinitely more than I can begin to explain, God is such an expansive word, holding all things together!

This week has been a bad week, but like those I spoke to I am choosing life, choosing life and stumbling on, choosing love and stumbling on, choosing to celebrate the blessings and stumbling on…. stumbling yes, but moving on, if only taking shuffling baby steps, stumbling on!

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Art work- Something new emerges ( mine)

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Becoming….

who am I?

the question runs

through the corridors

of my mind,

negotiating the inner critic,

the cry of doubt and self-despair,

acknowledging the corners

where depression lurks

waiting….

*

who am I?

yes I have achievements

I can name,

but they are not me,

I am deeper,

more wonderful,

more mysterious,

and the mystery grows deeper

the further I dare

to follow the question…

*

who am I?

my question

is a whisper now,

for this is holy ground

where love encounters

itself, and I find

that I am held

by the I am

of eternal grace

*

who am I?

I am love,

life,

wonder,

possibility

and more,

so much more

made in the image

of the indescribable,

the uncontainable…

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