Stand in the gap

Stand in the gap,

When they want to force you to take up an extreme, refuse.

When they want to you to be polarised, refuse.

When they want you to ignore the complexities and conundrums of life, refuse.

Instead stand in the gap where the real people stand.

Where the people who do not want to be pushed or defined by others insecurities and obsessions stand.

Stand where the subtle colours shift and shine, where the deep and generous patterns flow.

Stand with the thinkers and dreamers, the survivors and strugglers, the lovers and yearners, the busy and distracted, the confused and the searching, the poets and the prophets.

Plant your feet in the shifting sand and stand with the ordinary and extraordinary.

Stand while the edges shout their insults and slogans, their extremism and their intransigence.

Stand whilst they shout themselves to a deafened standstill in their fear and their anger.

Stand in the place of humility and love,

Stand in the place of unknown adventure,

Stand in the place of wonder and expectation,

Stand in the place of the God of desert and river, of exile and pilgrimage, of birth and rebirth, of love and sacrifice.

Stand as an invitation to others to stand there too.

God who is misunderstood

God who is misunderstood,

May we find our understanding in you.

May others judge us for being too kind, and condemn us for giving too much.

Let people look at us and laugh at what fools we are for exposing our brokenness,

And dismiss us as idiots for caring, for risking everything to see another smile.

May they ridicule us for our tears and rubbish us for our bleeding hearts.

Lord, as they stare and point because we refuse to worship the god of self, and won’t bow down to appease the god of greed, may we look up and smile contented.

May love be our downfall in the eyes of those who look at us, and peace be our weakness.

Let those who attack us do it because we stand undefended, and because we welcome them for who they are.

May our homes be not our own and our lives a gift to others even when they show no respect or gratitude.

When we hand over the things we value and give away what we have worked for may we welcome the grabbing hands.

Lord, when you take what you have given us to offer someone else, help us trust in your wisdom for their sake.

May we find our understanding in you,

God who is misunderstood.

Hope

Hope burning heart,

Bones clamping tight,

Holding, binding, trapping,

The fear of loss,

greater than grief itself,

The fear of chaos,

Mutes the music,

deadens the beat,

Inside it fades,

Dying notes flatten and sink,

Squeezed of all life,

Dimming spark,

Down,

Down,

falling,

Captive hope evaporating,

In the dark the dog barks,

A familiar sound,

Echoing in the hole,

where hope once lived,

The hope that died because it could not dance,

Because it was not thrown into the chaos,

To spin and leap,

To weave new moves,

To trace fresh paths,

To make wild shapes,

To cast and lead rebirth,

Hope does not fear the dance,

Hope does not fear the chaos.

Hope cannot be bound.

Prayer for peace and strength

Peace and strength are one,

We are weakest when pain and hurt rule,

When our minds are pulled and pushed by the cruelty of others,

When anger is the energy that moves and drives us,

When shame and guilt are the lenses through which we view life,

When insecurity drains our ability to see how beautiful we are,

When we walk in fear of what will happen around each coming corner,

When we see only loss ahead and live for what we do not have,

When frustration for what hasn’t been flows fast in our veins,

Peace and strength are one,

We are most powerful when our spirits can be still.

When we find our true self in it’s imperfection,

When we gain a new understanding of deep beauty,

When we meet those who only add to us,

When we feel our feet solid upon the world we walk in,

When we banish the judgement of others and know divine grace,

When we can grieve and feel loss, but not allow it kill our hope,

When we learn how to stop and simply be who we were made to be.

Peace and strength are one.

Peace is my prayer.

they were not my lights

Sitting in the deepest dark,
the competing lights begin to fade,
for months they’ve blinded me,
they’ve spun and flashed to distract me,
they’ve teased me with their glamour,
calling like the sirens, but,
they were not my lights.

they beckoned nonetheless,
too often I have reached for them,
not wanting to miss out on the fun,
not wanting to be left outside,
they looked so beguiling,
a dancing spectrum of life, but,
they were not my lights.

they promised me good times,
told me they’d help me forget,
they promised me a new start,
offered me security, identity,
an illusion of importance,
seeking to seduce me, but,
they were not my lights.

Sitting in the deepest dark,
my eyes began to open,
I saw others sitting there,
in the stillness we drew in,
we spoke in empty silence,
of the lights that tempted, but,
they were not our lights.

As we looked together in the dark,
and told each painful story,
with only grace in common,
we faced the empty space,
the smallest spark was kindled,
my spirit began to wonder, if,
this could be my light?

 

to talk to you

most days I find a space to talk to you,
I never quite find the right language to use though.
my words often pause in the depth of my mind,
as I wrestle with their appropriateness.
they shuffle on feet that don’t know where they stand,
like a stranger who has found themselves in a conversation,
they are not sure they have truly been invited in to.
do I even need to speak?
is silence enough?
is it too much?
without seeing your face it’s hard to know.
sometimes I feel the need to shout,
to wait to hear if there is an echo,
a bounce-back when I cry into the emptiness.
so sometimes I just sit,
sometimes I am still,
often I fight the urge to shift and resign,
I struggle not to impose upon the secret conversation,
and play in sand of my choosing,
or stare too long into the water at my own image.
my senses are wild beasts that run and roar,
as I become still they strain and pull,
for a moment I let them lead me,
and then return to the silence.
sometimes the silence speaks,
images painted,
melodies playing,
words form that are not mine,
and I listen.
and I listen.
most days I find a space to talk to you,
because some days you talk back.





Unplanned dreaming

An opportunity embraced as we sat on the hill with cigar and cognac. This was the beginning of a conversation. It was a gift we didn’t expect. A street table ringed by dreamers, sketching possibilities and parties. The steps and avenues coming to life around us as we sat under the sacred heart. A gathering of misfits merging from cheap hotel rooms and packed cars. The plans had been lost somewhere along rural rail tracks and we were free. Free to share stories and find common energies amongst the night life of Paris. So many years ago now, but such an important time. Troubadours and story tellers, God speakers and pioneers, partners and priests forming new worlds, moving in the neon shadows and giving birth to something still growing. As the trains stood still paths were woven together momentarily and then off in new directions, setting sail across oceans spiritual and physical, reshaping institutions and sending others on pilgrimages of their own. The drinkers and smokers, the prophets and poets that sat together that evening became friends and collaborators. We’ve sung and celebrated together, we’ve painted and written, we’ve changed laws and reimagined the future, we’ve dreamt of heaven and seen it on earth. For all of that and moments shared I thank you.

Picture : https://www.flickr.com/photos/pedrosz/

Scattered gold

Scattered gold,

Tiny morsels of treasure,

So small and delicate,

Flaky, broken, worthless,

Just as beautiful,

As any fashioned piece,

Perhaps more precious,

In their raw fragility,

A breeze could take them,

Static lift them,

And they are lost,

Taken, gone,

No king could gather them,

lock them beyond sight,

Hold them, hoard them,

No one can own them,

Scattered gold,

Tiny morsels of treasure,

I can see them,

As the light bounces,

Some can’t,

They see only darkness,

But I see riches,

In you,

In each of us,

Some buried deep,

But visible,

to those who choose,

I choose,

I see flashing brilliance,

Glorious sparkles,

I see your gold,

Our gold,

Scattered gold,

Tiny morsels of treasure.