Tag Archives: Faith

Sestina Baptism

My friend kneels as the water
Drips down her length, slipping into channels of love
The same irrigation system draws my tears-
The beauty of a baptised life
Washed into holiness and gently patted dry
Molecules of dirty dissent wiped out.

Peace. The stones have cried it out
Sleeping now, their salty water
Took an exiled age to dry
My friend rescued by love
From the Babylon shores of her life.
But I weep Babylon rivers of tears

My cracked life again springs leaky tears
I always swim far out
Beyond the buoys of a good life
Struggling in the dark water
Dumped back to beach by tsunami love
Like Jonah, high and dry.

My throat is rich-man burnt and dry
Waiting for the Jesus-wept tears
Waiting for extinguisher love
To put the fire out
Or just a drop of Lazarus water
To sprinkle life back to life.

It’s a woman-at-the-well life
Waiting for Jesus in the noontime dry
Drawing words, love and water
Forgetting the on-the-way tears
Singing all the way out
Of sitting-by-me love.

At the baptism lunch a few people love
My daughter’s ukulele strumming. Life
Is remarked on over fruit and cheese. Inside and out
Children fling their towels to dry
Over the fence. There are tears
As they compete for trampoline space and pool water.

Through trails of chlorine I’m happy to remain dry
I’m baptised by on-the-way tears
My spirit splashes happily in love’s water.

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Ezekiel

Did you forever
feel that wrench of hair?
Pulled onto the banks of
so many visions by that strong hand.
Prophetic pathways
lighting up inside that head of yours.
I imagine you gasping for normalcy
by that river,
as it widened and widened.

Did you think a lot
about those wheels within wheels?
And all those eyes
on the wheels within wheels?
At least cherubim didn’t have to be
pulled into glory by their hair.

The wheels within wheels mode-
it’s what I wish for many.
Well, specifically,
for young girls on the back of a truck
driving them away from education
and safety. Wheels within wheels,
dear girls. To bring you back,
back under the expanse.

Some burning hashtags, helpful also,
if cherubim could throw them at
the departing tyres.
And someone, please, adjust the
trucking suspension system.
So those girls, dear girls,
can move with spirit.

And let the satnav system show
visions of God.
So their eyes, so many eyes,
can be washed to sparkling
by the widening river.

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Hometime

On Saturday some little girls (my two eldest) and some big girls (me and my mum) caught the bus into town, and walked to the Opera House. A sparkly winter day, cold in the shadow of office buildings, bright and hot along the edge of the harbour. And we saw a play, a short beautiful lyrical clever tender play.  There were two actors, shadow puppets, miniature figures, humour, a lot of energy, and gentle observations of life, living and death.

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Miss Ophelia, a Het Filiaal production

MIss Ophelia, an old lady who can only whisper, becomes the secret “go-to” person for desperate, unattached shadows.  The kindness she shows by letting these shadows hide in her brown handbag reaps its own wonderful rewards.  The quiet lady who loves theatre but has no voice for the stage, becomes famous after all.

And finally…Miss Ophelia sees the shadow of death.  She finds herself in a different, wonderful place.  The shadows are there to welcome her.  In fact, they are no longer shadows, but beautiful shining things.  Miss Ophelia is dancing with them!

This play is based on a German children’s book, not currently available in English translation.  It’s so rare to find children’s stories that deal with the afterlife, that move beyond a “happily ever after”.  No-one, of course, has a happily ever after, not even those born into royalty.  The beauty of this story is its baptism of an ordinary quiet life, and the realisation that death cannot take away that life’s meaning- in fact death allows Miss Ophelia to enter another reality and truly come into her own.

At the end of the play my girls queued up to receive their special craft kit (a brown handbag / shadow theatre), and I was crying.  Tears of sadness and joy… at a real person, a friend, who has recently travelled on past death and on to another place.

This video was played on Friday, at my friend Rebecca’s funeral.  Rebecca is missed by her husband and two little girls, and by so many others who enjoyed her kind and generous spirit.  But there is no doubt that her life was baptised by God:  it was full of joy, and full of the certainty of God’s goodness, even when she was in the grip of a painful disease.

Thank you God, that you wrote Rebecca’s story, that you know her so intimately, and that you love her so much.  Thank you that you have welcomed her to her true home. 

 

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