Faith has me…

it’s faith that has me
not the other way round

i try to shake it loose
and i don’t know whether it’s habit
ingrained
or the god i can’t believe in
but somehow i am wrapped
in this story
and it won’t let me go

so today,
i wondered again
how i would survive a moment
and a place
that seem overwhelming.
and maybe it’s only the memory of faith
i heard telling me
trust the wisdom that’s here
in this moment
already.

regardless,
i will.

Some musing from Cheryl at hold this space … she wrote this when she should have been preparing something else!

I love this – and it  covers sentiments shared in a conversation I had with a friend over coffee earlier today.

I find it reassuring that faith has me and not the other way around.

There was a time in my life when I walked away from faith. I found ‘churchy’ stuff – all the requirements and expectations overwhelming – and I wanted out.

But 10 years later – like Cheryl – I found that I couldn’t quite shake it off and gradually I rediscovered faith.

And this ‘rediscovery’ was the beginning of a new journey, one which would take me into the ordained ministry

I too am wrapped in this story and it won’t let me go.

Picture is ‘hymn of praise’ by Jonny Baker on Flickr

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Clay…

IMG_0081Take the clay of our lives and shape it to love
Take the clay of the church and shape it to grace
Take the clay of the world and shape it to peace
Take the clay of today and shape it to hope

And then breathe your spirit into all
again

For ever and ever
Amen

A header from Cheryl’s blog which scrolled up today. I think I may have posted it before… but it is well worth a repeat.

I like the idea of being clay.

There is so much potential for creativity… for shaping and reshaping.

Clay is source material… dynamic not static… brought to life by the Spirit of God.

(Photo: copyright free image)

Not knowing…

i was happy before

in the ignorance of not knowing
i was living without you

but now
you are more present
in your absence
than any of the things around me
that i can touch with certainty
at any time

the emptiness left by the imprint of your soul
has become the shape in which
i live my life.

Another wonderful poem from Cheryl at hold this space.

I love her stuff because it works on so many different levels.

This poem could be about the precious relationship/friendship that shattered… the death of a loved one… separation from family or friends. Their presence lingers… their influence still shaping the present and the future.

It also has echoes of R.S. Thomas and Via Negativa (Negative Theology). (If you read my old blog you will know how much I love Thomas’s poetry). Thomas speaks of a God who is wholly present in his absence, knowable in his hiddenness and who speaks in silence.

He is “the darkness between stars”.

We follow “the echoes…the footprints he has just left…”

……………………………………

Why no! I never thought other than
That God is that great absence
In our lives, the empty silence
Within, the place where we go
Seeking, not in hope to
Arrive or find. He keeps the interstices
In our knowledge, the darkness
Between stars. His are the echoes
We follow, the footprints he has just
Left. We put our hands in
His side hoping to find
It warm. We look at people
And places as though he had looked
At them, too; but miss the reflection
.

Via Negativa (R.S. Thomas)

Picture is ‘tiptoe through the shallows’ by Mike Lockie on Flickr

A thin line between…

here where every step
triggers a memory
of that time once before
where i said yes
in spite of the certainty of failure

[and fail i did]

here where every step
reminds me of the paper thin
line on which i walk
where neither side
on which i might fall
holds any chance of survival

here i take a breath
of the air that’s filled only with the question
of faith

and say yes

anyway.

A wonderful piece from Cheryl at hold this space .

It works for me on so many levels.

It reminds me of “thin” lines I have walked in the past… through projects that failed…jobs that frustrated… difficult decisions that had to be made… all those times when I was caught between a rock and a hard place.

Yet this piece is full of hope…  and there is a challenge to move forward in faith even when it seems as if failure is inevitable.

Will you say “yes anyway” to the impossible… the risky… to the thing that scares you most in this moment?

I dare you to “take a breath” and a step of faith towards the one who is worthy of our trust.

Picture is ‘cut off by the tide’ by Jonny Baker on Flickr

Hold tight…

A wonderful header piece from Cheryl at holdthisspace… a great antidote to so many of the platitudes we can be tempted to spout in the face of suffering and pain:

battle-scarred and tired
we watch you lift yourself
again
into the hardness of today

the cliches sit on the edge of our
tongue
left unspoken
in respect for their futility
and your new hard won wisdom

hold tight
we whisper
a prayer for ourselves
as much as you

hold tight

Photo is ‘shattered’ by Jonny Baker on Flickr

perspective is good…

You are 1 person out of 7 billion people
On 1 planet out of 8 planets
In 1 star system out of 100 billion star systems
In 1 galaxy out of 100 billion galaxies
And you are enormously insignificant.”

(unknown)

Found this on Cheryl’s blog­ and it made me smile as did her comment – “I find such relief in being dispensable. it makes me work and live and love much better”.

Amen to that… especially on a Friday when I haven’t done all the things I meant to!

Picture is ‘Ardrossan Beach’ by Mike Lockie on Flickr

The future starts here…

Following on from yesterday’s poem, a blessing for Friday from Cheryl at holdthisspace

we leave today
going into a future
as yet unmapped

take faith with you as you go;
into the parts of your life not yet travelled by love
into the parts of the world unexplored by grace

let compassion and hope be the roads that you follow
today and always

amen.

Picture is ‘the start of the walk’ by Mike Lockie on Flickr