Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Exile

At our last "two day block" of DNA, James Treasure - who is one of the best Bible teachers I know, gave a talk on Exile and how, alongside Exodus, it is one of the main themes of the Old Testament. Since then have been thinking quite a lot about Exile, and how much it does feature in our lives, in our walk with God and with other people. I think it's really important to acknowledge this - that there are times when we feel, or are, on the 'outside', separated from the familiar, having to work out new ways to connect and to live out our faith. Anyways, here are some of my thoughts collated into some kind of poem-y thing! :-)

Exile.

Judah has gone into Exile
She dwells among the nations
She finds no resting place

One day I wake and find I that suddenly I don’t belong
Suddenly everything I was sure of seems to be a distant memory

A foreigner in my own town
A stranger in my own land
What makes it my own?
What makes a place a home?
Birth, blood, or something beyond?

Foxes have holes and birds have nests
But the Son of Man has nowhere for His head to rest

Will we follow?
Will we follow?
Will we follow?

To a place of non belonging?
To a lack of home.
To a restless wondering.
To incredible weakness
and dependence on others.

Will we lose even our name, that the only name that matters can be stamped on our hearts?
Will we GO? Cross borders and travel to the margins and beyond?
And STAY, in that uncomfortable place of straddling worlds, wrestling with our identity, laying down and taking up and counting the cost.
And then perhaps return
Changed
And find ourselves in a different kind of exile. One we were not expecting.

Maybe it doesn’t matter how we got here
Maybe it doesn’t even matter that we were there
Maybe what matters is the seeking
That we don’t give up and despair
Even if I make my bed in the depths
You are there

When everything that we linked to the presence of God disappears…
How will we worship?
And how will we pray?
When all is stripped away
What do our hearts say?
Is there a deeper truth to be found buried beneath our rites and rituals
That may have lost their meaning
Diverted into religion, when we forgot our first love

When we find the old answers do not fit the questions that now burn on our lips
Will we look beyond the walls and discover something priceless?
A new glimpse of mystery, hear the whisper that urges us to step into deeper water, because nothing in the shallows seems worth the safety any more.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

following Jesus

"And there is still the same call to go wherever, to do whatever He asks - no safety nets except relationship with Him and others. The initial excitement of not knowing where to go, what to do, soon wears off and becomes the greater confidence that He knows and that whatever it looks like it is OK. The joy of walking free, of going to the limits that He sets, of following Him into a new day is good. It is the way He wasted His time with the poor and powerless, pouring His life away in prayer with His Father, praying for the sick, teaching the crowds, eating in a home, walking establishing the kingdom in power and proclamation - this is really good".

from 'Wild Wandering' by Karen Lowe (p.76)

challenged!!!!!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

dancing on the street/hill/castle!




made for

He is the crack in the wall that lets in a shaft of light, illuminating my deepest desires, my longing that refuses to be satisfied. He is the oasis in the desert, drops of water that refresh my parched throat, dried up from its desperate pleas. Drops of water that lead to a gushing stream, a mighty river. I can hear the waters roaring even though I cannot see it yet. And I can hear whispers in the in the wind that encourage my heart to keep beating, because I am not alone. And I see sparks of colour pulsating beneath the covering of grey. Dancing figures in the mist. Hundreds of hints, suggestions that reassure my body and soul that there is more.

YES YES YES THERE IS MORE!!

I am not made to live in black and white. I am made for vibrant colour.
I am not made for darkness. I am a daughter of light.
I am not made to run on empty. I am made to be filled, to pour out, and to be filled again.
I am not made to walk alone. I am made for community – united by love unconditional.
I am not made for one dimensional living. I am made for life in all its fullness.
I am not made to be trapped by fear into non-moving, non-speaking existence. I am made to be free. Free to dance and free to sing with all that I am and more.