Sunday, 19 October 2014

No halo

There was no halo -
Like they show
In the paintings

At least
Not revealed to human eyes, most of the time
Momentary mountaintop flashes of glory
But then it was fish and foot-washing and dinner with 'Les miserables'
And maybe it was all a dream?

Who saw past the sawdust and sun-weathered skin?
To mercy pumping deep and wide through your veins

Who heard heaven rumbling in your stories?

What did they see when they sat across the table from you
And you looked right at them?

Did truth pierce their soul
A sense of being known
That they'd never known
Stripped naked and wrapped up tight
In the best ways
All at once

A relief that someone knew their darkest secrets
And that someone is someone who is kind,
With broader shoulder than theirs

Were they drawn toward you
In that inexplicable way
Hoping the meal wouldn't end
Because that would mean leaving your company

Yet somehow when they left
It was as if you'd accompanied them home

And they slept easy for the first time
In a lifetime
And when they woke
The morning felt new
For the first time

Wrote this on Friday evening in a living room in Praa Sands in the company of some wonderful hospitable people who clearly demonstrate that church is not about the building or which congregation you belong to :)

Sunday, 12 October 2014

We are found

And this is like coming home
We stand, sing, dance, drum
Triumphant declarations
of the good works you have done in us
Triumphant -
not because every day is easy
not because everything has worked out ok (just yet)
But because we are marked by a love deeper than deep
And because we’re here
And because we’re alive
And we’re still standing
And even if we’re not we are HELD

Our bodies - a testimony of a Master Creator
Who has not abandoned His creations
A genius who loves colour and variety and mystery and quirkiness
The journey may have been rough
But who can deny His faithfulness

I said who can deny His faithfulness?

We sing songs
And we are one
Our stories interconnect and overlap
And our heartbeat cries that
He is our home
And we are found in him

We are found
We are found
We are found
We are found

And His fingerprints are all over us
And His name is tattooed across our chests
And He’s carried us sometimes
And His tears have mingled with ours
And our ears are full of His whispers
And deep in that place beyond words
We know that nothing makes sense outside of Him
And that He is our reason
And that He is our home
And He is our song
and our dance

SO let’s not hide
And lets not keep our stories to ourselves
let’s declare with all that we have
and all we are
that He is the author of life
and our Hope

And our that He
Is our home

I wrote this last night at a creative worship evening back in good old Brighton, surrounded by many friends and people I love and admire... talented musicians, passionate dancers, open hearts. It felt like coming home.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

On prophets

Below is a passage from one of the books on my list - that's definitely stuck with me. I love the poetic, ponderous way in which Rubem Alves writes - speaks to my soul somehow.  The prophets in the Bible are some of my favourite characters, especially John the Baptist. Something about their wildness and non-conformity and not really fitting in. Standing on the edge, I suppose. Not a comfortable place, but a necessary one. Every community needs a prophetic voice, if they are to grow and move forwards and become all they were intended to be. Prophets speak truth, and prophets get rejected. They see what the culture around them has not yet awakened to. Like Alves describes in his book, creativity and prophesy are often, poetry... Sometimes I can relate to this description below of prophets, and I definitely know people that fit the description. So this is for them :-)

And a new song is heard, the song of the prophet, a song to resurrect the dead.  The prophet 'stands in the middle of the crowd, but his roots are not in the crowd. He emerges according to broader laws. The future brutally speaks through him' (Rilke). 
The prophet lives in the future. He sees the semblance of life which shines on the surface of the graveyeard: too much talking, too much doing, eating and drinking before the flood, towers which are built to reach heavens. But he is an exile, he lives in a different time, his nest is built in the future. 'And in his solitude eagles shall bring him nourishment in their beaks. And he wants to live among men like strong winds, neighbours of the eagles, neighbours of the snow, neighbours of the sun...And like the wind he wants to blow among them' (Kaufman, 211).

The Poet, The Warrior, The Prophet - Rubem A. Alves - p.135 

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Exploring Cornwall: The Helford Passage

Last weekend my parents came to visit so I took the opportunity to get out and explore a little corner of this end of Cornwall that I've heard about lots but never made it down to.

Helford passage, on the Falmouth side of the Helford River, is not exactly easy to get to or on the way to anywhere, but I think that's part of the attraction.  We drove down tiny windy roads through tiny villages. We parked up on the hill near a lovely view - you can see where the river meets the sea. 

Saturday, 27 September 2014


I turned 28 on Wednesday.

Birthdays are always a bit strange: for me a mixture of hope and reflection and celebration and often - to be honest - a bit of loneliness and disappointment. I'm not someone who talks loads about their birthday but still hopes that somehow everyone will remember it, and maybe even plan some magical surprise party... and when it comes to any sort of celebration (always planned by me, in the end)  there's a strange mix of not wanting to be the centre of attention whilst feeling sad if people forget or don't turn up or whatever. I don't think I'm alone in this, I think birthdays are all sorts of strange in different ways for different people.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Revolution poem

Thanks to James Norton, Chris Norton and Monica Radwanski for making this :-)