Walk with me

“Walk with me”

The words to your friends in Eden’s cool evening
tumble through history.

Enoch, walk with me
Noah, walk with me whilst I explain carpentry and rain
Walk with me, Israel, through parted seas and barren desert.
I'll walk you to the promised land though you wriggle to escape my hand.

Even as they feasted on milk and honey,
they strayed.
So far that none could hear your voice.

So you yourself came
Looked us in the eye and bid, ‘walk with me’
And we followed and walked from Galilee to Jerusalem and back
many times,
walking and talking.
You were our friend, walking with us.
Your crown was hid, and when your plan was revealed
and disguise cast away
You merely asked us ‘pray with me’
yet we slept,
and on waking, we fled.

Death could not hold you.
Alive and risen you took again to the road
with ordinary people.
‘May I walk with you?’ 
And you walked and talked
explaining the plan,
only leaving when light had dawned upon our dull brains
that this was you and you were alive.
Despair dethroned by Hope.

Here we stand
Urged by ancestors to walk with you
A cloud of witnesses watching our steps
until we will come
to the city where no one shall say to another ‘know the Lord’ for all shall know You.
All shall walk with You 
in a place beyond time itself.

But for now, as gravity pins me to earth
I hear the call of love
the call to friendship
You almost sound lonely, and certainly yearning:
“Walk with me”. 

Crucifixion

A man being crucified

What do you see?
So many seeing different things:

A mother weeping for her son
The crowds jeering at a con man
another deadbeat dying
The rabbis see a blasphemer getting his just rewards
And fold their arms in satisfaction 
The Romans see a rabble rouser put down
And heave sighs of relief
His friends see the end of their dreams
Confusion and grief in their hearts
Or 30 pieces of silver in their pocket
The women weep.
Some see a fellow convict
Refusing to curse and die.
Pilate sees a mystery.
His enemies see revenge satisfied 
The disinterested see just another day
The soldiers see just another criminal
Too late they see that
Truly this is the son of God

Who sees the opened armed sacrifice
being made for all men and all salvation?
Abundant life poured out
In blood and tears
At the place of the skull for us

After the stench of torture and death
Comes a fragrance of life
Doors flung open to eternity
For all who chose to follow
Who sees?

Surrounded by people
Your greatest victory was born in solitude and pain
Father forgive us, we know not what we do.

Resurrection

Sunday
Hopeless and weary, yet still
Our love for him drew us to the place where he lay
Braving the knowledge that the guards would still be there
Despite the finality of death, we had to see
even his grave
one more time.

The earth shook as we approached.

We shook, too.
Though we had thought that those last dark days had wrung out every last emotion,
We found we were wrong
but still our love drew us.

A light too bright to look into
Words issued by an angel
Words too bright to believe entirely
but unbidden, a strange forgotten joy was birthed. It was hope.

We ran. We ran to call the others, but stopped in our tracks.

He was there. Radiant.
“Greetings” he said.

“Greetings“……….GREETINGS??”

Are those words from beyond the grave…….? “Greetings”
even now it makes me laugh.

And we who had thought to never feel again
were filled with joy.
Laughter spilled out, love overflowed, struck down with awe we lay flat
and clutched at his feet with love whilst we could barely breathe.

“Fear not” so gentle his words that banished fear forever.
and now we could let him go
For we knew he would never leave us again.

Golgotha

oops – forgot to post yesterday, so two offerings today. Here we are, Good Friday, remembering the darkest of days. We know the events through the bible and with hindsight. I cannot imagine how the mother of Jesus, or his friends felt at the crucifixion, not knowing what would follow.

I watched a much loved sister die over a relatively short period of time a few years ago. Sitting at her bedside, watching her lovely face grow thinner, seeing her slipping away in front of my eyes, was agonising. Yet I kept thinking about Mary, watching Jesus die before her eyes, an unimaginably more painful death with no pain relief, no nurses, and so alone.

He would have been naked, exposed, his skin gouged, his face beaten…publicly derided and humiliated. I cannot imagine watching that happen to a much loved son, to someone you loved more than yourself.

The Death
Mary watched and wept
as the torture proceeded
not knowing that each and every
savage, painful moment

drew You closer to home
to the place where
tears are tenderly wiped away
and glory is inhaled with every breath.

Every step on the highway to death
forged a path to a life that will never perish.

And when deepest blackness
darkened the sky
and utter bleakness
stole Your soul
that was the last grasp of evil’s fingers upon You.

Never again can the tentacles of death
trap those in whom Your Spirit inhabits.

For we are free
and more alive than we will ever know
even while we die.

I will fear no evil. For the Good Shepherd is by my side.
Father forgive them, they know not what they do

The only certainty more sure
than our past, present and future
blind
mindless
murder
of God

is
His
open arms
offering
free
forgiveness
to the killers.

Forgiveness

How easily the word Forgiveness trips off my tongue. Yet as I consider the depth of the betrayal of Jesus and the agony of the cross, the grace of His quiet forgiveness strikes me anew. How quick I am to take offence if I feel slightly ignored or badly treated by people I don’t know, let alone by friends. Yet He foreknew what would happen, and did not forbid Judas to come to the last supper or turn away from the fake kiss.

Easter

With Easter almost upon us, I plan to put something up daily regarding the week on the Passion of Christ. Please ignore the timeline – like the bible, I will jump around the timeline a bit.

Today reflecting on people Jesus loved. Mary, the disciples, and us.


Emmaus

Were we so shocked and traumatised
that we did not believe
that you meant what you said 
when you told us
this temple will be raised just 3 days after it has been destroyed?

Were we so blind
that we did not see you
by our side
until you broke the bread and gave it to us?

Were our minds so dull
that all the prophecies meant nothing
until you patiently unpacked them?

Were our hearts so cold that we did not know you walked with us
until so much later?
Am I so tossed by life that your promises and life itself seem empty?
Am I so blind that I do not see you in every sky, tree or insect I pass?
Am I so deaf that I do not hear your voice in the wind and the word?
Is my heart so cold that I do not feel you by my side?

Every. Single. Day.

I believe. Forgive my unbelief.

Anna

The joyous wedding
Marital bliss
Longed for as a child, it became yours.
Life looking good

Except the womb lay empty
And until your husband snatched away.

Seven years of almost perfect 
Enough memories to tear at your heart
As now you slept alone.
And who would want a barren woman as a wife?

So what to do? And how to live?
A decision. 
A step made in the direction of the temple.
A life dedicated to quiet service
To cleaning and candle lighting
To prayer and worship
A friend of God
And not abandoning hope.

Seventy seven long years
Living in God’s presence
Sleeping in His temple
Knowing Him
Speaking his words.
Childless you remained 

Until a suddenly when
The Child was here and
Placed in your arms.

As you had entrusted your life, your self to Him
So He came to You and placed himself in Your arms.

A glorious eternal moment
When God lay in your arms and looked you in the eyes.

The arms that had been empty
Now full.
Love was yours. Forever.
anna