Tuesday, 25 March 2008


I’m still coming to terms with this resurrection thing. I don’t think it’s something you understand fully after a sunrise one morning, or even after a couple kind of freaky appearances. First I thought he was a gardener, then a ghost. Now Jesus has to call out, in the same words he’s used before, to meet me in the same empty boat. I am still a child with no fish. Only when the miracle happens again does the echo catch in my heart and reality dawn on me. It truly is him, standing on the shore, but I am so far away. I am not a strong swimmer, and most certainly cannot walk on water, but I throw myself into the sea, pummeling the waves and hoping he is not a mirage born of sleepless delusion. I make the hundred yards to the beach. He is still there, thank God, and in light of the past bizarre days, I have never been more grateful to see a little charcoal fire burning merrily where the sand has been dug away. I smell fish and bread and the familiar scent of Jesus as he lugs me up to dry warm sand. “Come and have breakfast,” he says, and these word remain as some of the most memorable and precious I have heard him say. Breakfast with Jesus. He gives me the bread and fish he’s cooked up, and it’s like we’re camping, two friends watching the sun over the lake. I need to be here awhile, to pick at fish bones and burn my fingertips on bread almost too hot to eat. I need to learn what he looks like all over again. I know breakfast doesn’t last forever, but I hope he’ll cook for me again.


Thursday, 20 March 2008

bread (2)

Soft evening light streams through a kitchen window and onto the worn surface of a wooden table. The hermit thrush sings, and by these chimes the woman knows it’s time to begin her work. She lays out flour, water, salt and the fragrant yeast. Her hands have memorized the motions – sprinkling, stirring, kneading. Her arms are strong from this nightly task. Love, frustration, sweat and prayers are worked into the dough till it is soft and resilient to her touch. It is the same process, day after day.

She makes bread, makes a living for her family. She sets the offering to rise in the warmth of the kitchen. The last thing she will do before she sleeps is punch it down again and separate it into loaves to be set in pans. Under the cover of night it will transform and gain its life. She will rise before the dawn to the robin’s song, and will make the fire blaze and put the loaves into the oven. As the family wakes they will smell her sweet labour, and she will be satisfied to place golden manna before them. They break the bread together and are warmed for the day’s work. They eat till they are full, and there is always enough left for supper. By the time the thrush chimes again it will all be consumed, crust and crumb. The woman will sigh and begin again the daily sacrifice. It is their life.

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in me will never thirst . . . I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (John 6)

In the city

The following is increasingly uncomfortable. I can’t turn back. I don’t want to go on. I have limped along at a distance through the maze of twisted streets, half hoping not to be noticed. I’ve been climbing on my hands and knees behind him, cursing this narrow path, praying for escape. For in the fearful ascent I have been uncovered for who I truly am. I have travelled the road and it leads to the place of the skull. Standing unclothed I am the laughingstock of my closest friends and deepest enemies. The sudden and shaming revealing of self hits me hard in the pit of my stomach. The light pierces and burns, illuminating corrupted flesh and a calloused heart. My punishment is all around me. Yet in this shame there is a grace, for I have not been left here to decay. So I submit to the pain of uncovering. Here humiliation is mercy, for though I have fallen, it is not over the precipice, close as I have been groping to the edge. I have stumbled over Jesus himself, and in the fall is my salvation.


Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Journey to Jerusalem

Trampled leaves lay a path into the city. Bleeding palms and torn garments are what is left of a triumphant entry, and now the dusk descends. The city is full of shadows and night voices. I’ve never been here in the dark before. I jump at what I think is a soldier or vagabond around the corner, but it is only an old rooster scratching the stony ground. I’m not sure I want to follow this man, but I know I’ll get lost here if I don’t. The streets are so narrow I hardly know if I’m staggering upwards or stumbling down. I smell bread baking, women roasting lamb, roses growing in thorny gardens. I do not yet understand what this journey means.

Left under a black sky all I see is my own heart. I am uncomfortable with silence, for it brings out aortic wars I have long suppressed. My feet are weary of the blind struggle, but I know I must go on. What I fear most is the journey into myself.



What if we gave our bread away? If we broke our gluttoned souls and opened our carbohydrate wallets, would we all have enough to eat? While we argue over substance change, starvation whispers in desperate stomachs. Have we reached a point where thankfulness becomes selfishness and we hoard our eucharist in hallowed arks, not seeing how it rots in our fat hands? We are fine kings and priests who gorge ourselves at the banquet table and brush our crumbs into the highways and hedges of human existence. We are growing moldy. Is this his body?


Wednesday, 12 March 2008


I am searching for simplicity
The stripping of sin and selfishness
My heart is cluttered with the pursuit of happiness
I must first pursue what is pure

I am searching for clarity
The moment of intimate wisdom
Self-deception is an art I have perfected
Fear and grace bring me to honesty

I am searching for direction
The rising mist on the early morning path
Is it pride or timidity that holds me back
When all I hear are echoes of a calling

I am searching for Jesus
The unveiling of cloudy eyes
My senses are dulled by my own drowsiness
I need nothing less than death and resurrection


Take Off My Shoes

This is one of my favourite Delirious songs.

I'll take off my shoes, I'm coming in
Untie this rope, I'm staying with him
Love of my life, I'll live and die
Just for the moments for my king and I

Why did you call, why did you wait
For someone so guilty, someone so fake
There are no words for my beautiful song
Now I'm in the arms of my beautiful one

Hold me, blow all the pride from my bones
with your fire
Hold me, breathe on this heart made of stone
make it pure
Hold me, saviour of heaven and earth
king forever
Hold me, love of my life lead me on
through the fire
lead me on

I'll take off this crown, and fall at your feet
The secret of joy are the moments we meet
How could a man with all of your fame
Pull me from darkness and call me by name

So hold me today, as I carry your cross
Into the desert to find who is lost
Look at my hands, they're still full of faith
God keep them clean till we finish the race

Hold me, blow all the pride from my bones
with your fire
Hold me, breath on this heart made of stone
make it pure
Hold me, saviour of heaven and earth
king forever
Hold me, love of my life lead me on
through your fire
lead me on...

I hear you singing, I hear you singing
Stand up and be strong
You gotta finish, finish
We've gotta finish, finish
I love you
I'll take off this crown and fall at your feet
So hold me

~Delirious (Mission Bell, 2005)

Monday, 10 March 2008

to dance

I want to dance
To leap gracefully, always poised
To fall elegantly into the energy of the earth
And rise on strong arches
To enter the exquisite motion of music
With a silent harmony, grace notes flexing and pointing
I desire the timeless rhythm
To feel it in my clumsy feet
Until my toes can touch the sky
There is a song that I know
But it cannot be sung
I must search it out with tendons
Give it voice with the pounding blood of throbbing feet
Till they are beautiful on the mountains

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