“I’ll never know how much it cost” [You]

(Inspired by the song – see below)

Sitting prim in my primrose-yellow bonnet and Sunday best,

anticipating savours of simnel cake, chocolate and the rest…

I’m disturbed by the thought of blood and sweat,

soldiers and swords, anguish and tears,

crown of thorns and human fears…

Betrayal!

**

I eat my piece of fresh bread and sip my sweet juice,

to remember Your forgiveness, the New Covenant,

me washed clean, like the laundered linen cloth

– draped artistically on the polished vacant cross,

on the altar before us…

Complacent!

I don’t want to see the real shroud

– caked in blood and dust, agony and death;

Nor see the splinters, nails and beaten, naked flesh…

I want to hear the melodious voices of praise songs,

not the relentless taunt of the murderous throngs,

Condemning –

“Crucify Him, Crucify Him! We have no God but Caesar!”

Or see Pilate wash his hands, because “it was easier”…

**

I want to remember that “the ‘spotless lamb’ for me was slain”;

not hear the agonised cry of the crucified One –

Son of God, Son of Mary –

bleeding, dying, writhing in pain;

sacrificing His final breaths to say again –

“Father, forgive them, for they know no what they do!”

For even then You saw my cowardly complacency, You forgave my betrayal

You saw my indifference and my sanitised ignorance …

You forgave me, because You knew

that I knew not,

that we knew not, and knew –

“I’ll never know how much it cost [You], to see my sins upon that cross”…

Father, forgive us, for we know not what we do!

**

I hope you enjoy a Karaoke version and join in with your own worship.

Trapped

“There IS no escape!

No way out!

No place to hide”

HE is bigger, faster and his legs are long;

He is older, cleverer and his arms are strong;

He has guns and whips,

he punches and kicks,

he slaps and canes,

but the worst is the SHAME…

– the words…

the lies,

insults

and blame

guilt and blame –

shame!

He is damaged and hurt,

has had his share of dirt;

but the Truth was never revealed

– to him

and the pain was never healed

– for him

– So he dumped it all on us!

And I am TRAPPED –

trapped in the room, by the walls and the space;

trapped by his power, his will and disgrace;

trapped by his threats – barbed with cutting words –

and trapped by my own fear of never being heard!

Too late!

Fear of pain and of torture and death

fear of being wiped off the face of the earth!

Too late?…

For I am insignificant, powerless, silenced and small

and confused, controlled and overwhelmed by it all…

But Lord, I turned to You.

YES!

You are my HOPE.

You rescued me! You set me free!

To You I can run and in You I can hide –

in Your big, loving arms, I am strong at Your side!

You rescued me! You set me free!

You hold me and heal me, with salvation and Power,

forever my refuge and my faithful, strong tower.

You rescued me! You set me free!

Thanks be to God!

Girl! Run from evil, to the Lord, and He WILL rescue you. Amen

“Even in death, the righteous have a refuge” Proverbs 14 v 32

Read by the author.

Communion

dawnfanshawe

I was challenged to write a poem about communion. I based it on the gospel of John (John 6), where Jesus had fed the 5,000, walked on the water and healed the sick, but still they asked for a sign. When He said “I AM the Bread that came down from heaven”, many of his followers left him, saying “This is a hard teaching.”

This is my response:

Lord,
Often as I read the gospel accounts
A veil of familiarity dims my eyes
And the stories that they there recount
Seem commonplace and of no surprise.

Then suddenly, in awestruck wonder
The veil is lifted and there I see
Radical love of unfathomable depths
Knocking, calling and inviting me.

The things you did that blow my mind –
And challenged customs of the day –
Were downright bold, if truth be told
But to the father’s heart you showed the…

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An Awesome Veil

Trundling…

Trundling by, fleetingly

From the window all is silent;

The whole vista veiled,

White gowned,

Evenly covering colour

Softening all form

Hushed; moulded,

Clothed, but revealing a greater glory

Than the temporal greys and smudged hues of winter earth.

River grey and ashen clouds holding their breath…

That which was of its own –

Rich in momentary splendour and beauty –

Surpassed and overwhelmed

By a fresh, pure down,

Delicately and graciously bestowing,

Unfolding revelation.

Dazzling white light

As heavenly curtains draw a gentle, baby blue,

Life-giving light consoling with warm promises

Ever present,

The source of joy to its bride – nature’s bride, adorned and ready –

Purified in time to rekindle beauty and vibrant colour

Richness and depth;

Blushing in her glory

She reflects the rays of her life,

Truth and mystery, clear as crystal

As precious pearls.

Still the flakes flutter and fall…

 

Train journey back to Germany – 4th January 1986

Bidden or not bidden –

 

In the spirit, soaring the selfless songs of the silent soul,

The Supreme Spirit is present ;

 

In the limbs, labouring in the undulating land of the living,

The Lord of Life is present ;

 

In the mind, climbing mountains for meaning and ambition,

The Majestic Maker is present ;

 

In the heart, responding to the pulsating passions of perception,

The Prince of Peace is present ;

 

In the soul, delving into valleys of survival, forgiveness and self-worth,

The loving Saviour is present ;

 

In the spirit, soaring the selfless songs of the silent soul,

The Supreme Spirit is present …

 

Bidden or not bidden

God is present.

Communion

I was challenged to write a poem about communion. I based it on the gospel of John (John 6), where Jesus had fed the 5,000, walked on the water and healed the sick, but still they asked for a sign. When He said “I AM the Bread that came down from heaven”, many of his followers left him, saying “This is a hard teaching.”

This is my response:

Lord,
Often as I read the gospel accounts
A veil of familiarity dims my eyes
And the stories that they there recount
Seem commonplace and of no surprise.

Then suddenly, in awestruck wonder
The veil is lifted and there I see
Radical love of unfathomable depths
Knocking, calling and inviting me.

The things you did that blow my mind –
And challenged customs of the day –
Were downright bold, if truth be told
But to the father’s heart you showed the way.

You healed the sick and cured the lame
Proclaiming the Kingdom of God is near
And you commissioned your followers to do the same
Forgiven, loved and released from fear.

You taught us love, You washed our feet
You redefined what it meant to serve,
Untouchables, sinners, You graciously greet
With transforming dignity undeserved.
You fed your people miraculously with bread
You turned their water into wine
Yet more and more demands they made
And constantly begged for another sign

But miracles don’t satisfy our hunger for God
Contrary always to popular thought
Only a personal relationship with You, for
“I am the bread of life” You taught .

Your words, “I AM”, Your deity exposed
and scandalised the sceptic band
to eat your flesh and drink your blood
was more than they could understand.

Yet, Word of God, in flesh you came
A perfect, pure and holy life
For hopeless folk in sin and shame
To set us free from guilt and strife.

The debt man owed, only You could pay
So your flesh was beaten, your hands were pierced
There wasn’t any other way
Your blood You gave in sacrifice.

You ask me only to believe
In your finished work upon that cross
And your grace and mercy to receive
As You restore all that was lost.

So your body was broken and your blood was shed
To bring us wholeness and make us free
To bring forgiveness and eternal life
Your mercy and great love did all this for me.

So I eat your flesh and drink your blood
And remember Your miraculous gift to me
For everything You give is good
And only You can set me free.

Thank You, Jesus.

Communion cup and bread with crown of thorns in background

Faith?

We all live our lives with faith: –
We believe that tomorrow we will wake from our sleep
That when we open our mouth our voices will speak
That turning on the tap, water will flow
And planting seed, the crops will grow…

On things electric we now rely
We all believe that planes can fly
Even though we know not why
With science and reason we can try…

We believe in science, justice and reason
We hold all these in great esteem
Though learned folk of the previous season
Thought today’s inventions just a dream.

But faith in God or a Higher Power –
There scepticism abounds –
We see divisions that we have made
And ignore the evidence of life around

The intelligence in the seed and brain
Are mysteries we can’t explain
And what of longing, valour and love
They are not explained by the theories above.

For who witnesses birth and does not wonder
Or looking at the stars does not ponder?
Or seeing the beauty of a flower
Or the sea in its mystery and power…

Does he not ask why?

If there is no power greater than me
Then from naught I came and naught will ever be;
If the highest intelligence rests with man
Where is he going and what is his plan?

Man didn’t fling the stars into space
Nor did he set the oceans in place
He didn’t design the maple’s seed
And doesn’t meet our deepest need.

A rational response to reality
Requires a sane humility
To acknowledge with serenity –
No matter what I conceive it to be –
A power infinitely greater than me!

The Promise of the Rainbow

Even in the stumbling of night
His stars twinkle mysterious light
Sparks of the unknown, infinite
And eternal hope.

Daybreak heralds a fresh glory
Erasing dreams and strife;
The dawn of a new story
Illuminating mercy and life.

New days radiate hope for us –
Warmth, promise and growth –
Visible and glorious,
Powerful – but delicate – both.

Our star is not quenched by the rain;
The waters don’t labour in vain,
But soften the earth, relieving the pain –
Causing life to rise from the ashes again.

As they cleanse and germinate seed,
That the diligent purposed to grow,
A multitude then he can feed –
With grateful hope indeed;

And a light through the rain he will show –
Is the promise of the rainbow.

Giving Birth to Sobriety

Giving Birth to Sobriety

My life is so varied and rich
But…
There’s always a but/ a glitch.
Like I’m looking for something I had,
That in itself wasn’t bad,
But it was not what I needed and when I conceded
That in fact it was keeping me sad,
I looked for a new way
A way of recovery…

When I drank I thought drink was my friend –
Daily I brought “work” to an end –
I opened the bottle , turned down my brain
Played music, lit candles
And danced in the rain;
I’d cook and have friends round
Would chatter and play –
Felt duly rewarded, every day.
Thinking and doing seemed to be done
And now I considered it time to have fun.
Having the sense of completing my duty,
Then I allowed me to enjoy all the beauty –
The senses, emotions, creative and free –
This was Dawn-time, time just for me.

It was time to relax, to be warm and more giving
A time to feel like I really was living;
But the key was the bottle that I used as a switch
From duty to pleasure – herein lies the glitch!
For the truth in my case, the complexity I face
That emotional sobriety is new;
Alcohol and romances
Mingled their dances
And this was the state that I knew: –
Equilibrium to feel alive
To sooth myself and sense Dawn thrive;
Feeling comforted and needs caressed
Content, relaxed and greatly blessed…

But ancient wounds had festered deep
Despite these blindfolds, they would weep;
Despite these crutches, my limp grew worse
Men and drink had become a curse.

So, nine months ago, I made a decision
With romance severed, I planned with precision
What was for me an alien vision.

I had to trust my Higher Power
My God who is my strength and Tower
And trust that he would show me how –
To nourish this precious, arid flower.

So what do I do now the bottle is dry?
I can’t switch the brain off, but why do I try?
God’s Spirit is in me, healing my soul,
But I still feel a loss, a big gaping hole!

I really do love being sober from drink
And I certainly long to be free,
But I struggle to pray and struggle to think
Of a way just to chill and be me.

“It’s the truth that will set you free”
Is the scripture that beckons to me –
It’s freedom and truth that I’m seeking
Specially when I feel such a weakling,
Embracing sobriety.

I rejoice in the freedom, the joy and the gains
The reward for long-suffering, labour and pains
And I will not give up, though the journey is tough
One day at a time, grace alone is enough.

I’m reaching a place where addictions are beaten
My Lord has replaced what the locusts have eaten.
I am gratefully sober and know I can cope
With new life ahead of me, full of real hope.
Knowing forgiveness for what I’ve done wrong,
Growing in strength I’ll sing a new song!

Elusive Excitement of Newness

The new toy, bike or friend as a kid,
The new job, car or painting that I did;
The brand new dress with matching shoes
The latest sensation to hit the news;
A husband or wife – vowing never to part
Salvation, new life – we give all our heart…

We reach our goal, a dream fulfilled
The yearning of our heart is stilled
With treasured pearl and joy we shine
Full of promise now it’s mine

Initial vigilance, adoring and keen
We want our treasure by all to be seen;
We display, protect, polish and gaze
And use every moment to offer our praise.

But often having thus acquired
The prize we had so long desired
We imperceptibly grow tired,
And the thing which once was pride of place
Unguarded hearts may swift erase –
While something new attracts our gaze…

For what is it now we long and thirst
That supersedes what once was first?
What fickle nature quenches fire
Now igniting new desire?
What rose-stained lens do we peer through
When captivated by pastures new?

The heart is swayed, lust and greed deceive,
Despite good counsel it receives…

But when it seems that depths are reached,
Or find dismayed that vows are breached;
Or maybe usefulness to self has ceased,
Therewith the need also deceased.

When disillusionment squeezes out hope,
We harden our hearts in order to cope;
We shelve or discard what we thought we needed
And bury our love with dreams now receded.

(But as for myself, I hoard my treasures,
Stored on the shelf, I remember the pleasures
And gratitude often compels me to peep
Into the souvenirs I keep.)

Dawn 11/11/15