come mother heart of the city

Come mother heart of the city

Throw off the depression that weighed you down

Open your eyes to see your children

They long to have you nurture them back to life

 

Remember your dreams of a better future

Where children ran free with smiles on their faces

 

Remember the hopes of owning a land

Where you could determine how your children grew up

 

Come mother heart of the city

Find your home around God’s table again

Listen to the beat of his Kingdom come

You are the song keeper – holding, interpreting

 

Come mother heart of the city

Reach out to the brokenhearted

Open your arms to welcome the stranger

Compel the city to your unity, to your hope

 

Come mother heart of the city

Find your healing here

 

find the rhythm of hope

There is a rhythm of hope that beats. Feet tapping, arms swaying, dance inducing. We don’t have to create it, we just need to discover it. Feel it? Hear it? Mostly just find the stillness to first recognise it. It exists without us but gets louder with us. It is seen through our response to it. The joy in our eyes. The generosity in our hands. The compassion in our feet. The prophesies in our mouths.

Forget embarrassment. Forget who is watching. Stop comparing.

When you find it. Just join the dance.

Can you feel the rhythm of heaven bringing healing as we sing? Can you feel the passion growing? It’s beating deep within. We lay our pride on the floor. We come to surrender our all. ~ Peter Eckley and Nigel Hemming

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prayer words

Forehead pinched together with eyes shut tightly. Word after word escapes in hopes of covering the request completely – not forgetting anything – bargaining for everything.

Time consuming.
Stressful.
Repetitive.
Boring.
Ineffective.
What’s the point.
Guilt.
Do it all again tomorrow.

All-thing that our Lord hath ordained to do, it is His will that we pray therefor, either in special or in general. This is our Lord’s will, that our prayer and our trust be both alike large. For if we trust not as much as we pray, we do not full worship to our Lord in our prayer. ~ Julian of Norwich

Liberating.
Ongoing.
Spur of the moment.
Genuine.
Full of trust.
Powerful.
Miracles.
Do it all again tomorrow.

Heart poured out and burdens lifted. Eyes wide open in a word, in a look, in a conversation. Filled with impossible expectation in a collection of moments. This is trust and prayer. This is worship.

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small town with 1,000 innocent memories

Small boats made of popsicle sticks floated down the rainwater rivers beside the footpath of our street. Crouched down low, we positioned them just right. When they weren’t around we reverted to placing sticks and leaves in the streams and watching them float as far as they could. Down the road by the school we watched the bald eagles soar once. The murky ponds rimmed in cattails were the homes of ducks and geese in the summer and outdoor skating rinks in the winter.

2014-05-27 17.51.16-1I fell in love over and over again at the hockey rink. So many hockey players to choose from! Eventually I was banned from flirting beside the players bench. But it was under a towel covered picnic table at the local swimming pool where I found my childhood love.

2014-05-27 18.29.49-1I picked up chopsticks and learned to use them at the Tasty Mill. The options for eating out were Chinese, Chinese, Chinese or Pizza. The Shangri La, where I regularly ordered grilled cheese sandwiches, was reserved for Sunday lunch. The spooky, abandoned looking Chinese restaurant reportedly had the best in town. It still looks spooky and closed. It still is reputed to have the best in town.

2014-05-27 18.23.31-1Down by the reservoir we went canoeing once to spot the beavers the town was named after. There must have been 30 at least. My fear of swimming in wild places started there as I truly believed the rumours that piranhas had been let loose and were living there. Walking closer to the waters edge, my minds eye was filling in the sights and sounds of baptisms. Stories and confessions of faith from young and old. Water broken and dripping. Towel covered hugs. I have decided to follow Jesus.

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Grandmothers in church taught me handcrafts. I blame my early pursuit of embroidery and crochet on them. If I hadn’t won all those first prize ribbons at the autumn fair I might not have kept on trying.

This town holds 1,000 innocent memories from my childhood. Each time I visit, they return to me again.

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hands of generosity and hospitality

Empty walls, ceiling and floor cause restlessness. There is no door and no suggestion of where this is. The void echos. A message appears. The instructions are impossible. Embossed along the top edge is the only suggestion for completion: By Faith.

First there is anger. The complete audacity to suggest that this task is even possible. There is nothing in the room that will help. No resources. No step by step directions even.

There is loneliness.

There is fear.

There is fight. Fists beating against the wall only cause bruised and bloodied hands.

Remembrance brings hope like the dawn. Behind closed eyes are memories of goodness and memories of love. Thankfulness begins to dig deep roots and strengthens the body again until feet are firmly planted and contentment washes over.

Eyes seek out empty but open hands. On one is written generosity and the other hospitalityThey had been so full before, covered in the possessions that filled them. The words had never been seen. Here they were empty – the words so clear. Hands with purpose but with nothing to give anymore.

By Faith.

Unexpected people begin to fill the room, holding out their hands of generosity and hospitality filled with good things. “No, no, I couldn’t.” In knowing perseverance they wait until the need for a glass of water becomes to great and there is no other option. The words written on hands disappear as they are covered over with good things. As the others leave, the room remains full of their offerings. The silence prompts another look at the instructions given earlier. One look around the room brings a surprise – everything needed is here! From the hands of generosity and hospitality it was provided and from the hands of generosity and hospitality it will be completed.

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cobblestones under feet

In a rubber playground littered with cigarette butts and surrounded by cobblestones, the children laugh and play. They climb, they jump, they dance! “Watch me!” they shout. Tourists eyes are glued to the ground as they descend out of their bus and bounce their suitcases over the stones to their hostel across the way. Clad in business suits, men and women stroll home from work, their bags swinging freely. A football is kicked around between the rows of houses and apartments. The shop is full of local Dubs and foreigners just like me grabbing the few things they need for the evening. The cafe is full of people at their leisure basking in hospitality. Jameson tower stands proudly in watch. The tall modern lamp posts wave their salute. Brick, stone, concrete, glass and metal. White skin, brown skin, freckled skin.

The evening air is full the music coming from the mouths of the youth. The morning brings a hush and drone of vehicles as the city slowly wakes up.

I love this city in the sun. I love it in the rain. I love it when it is grey and clouded over. I love it when the sun breaks in the west and rainbows appear in the east. Whatever the weather, these cobblestones come under feet of young and old. Beautiful, beautiful people.

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this is compassion

As you sit with me in concentration revealing true emotion, I look into your eyes and recognise myself reflected back.  I could be you.

This is not pity nor sympathy.

I am no stronger, no more prepared from conception to have found myself able to reorganise life to better circumstance. Humbled by the reflection and counted as equal in this place of suffering I call on all my resources of resiliency – I demand to see hope. I become obedient to the same consequence as you with insurmountable odds and yet I am not overcome by it.

This is not empathy.

I shout out, “Death, you are not good enough for us! We demand life!” I keep shouting until your voice joins with mine, your hand holds onto mine and together we climb to peaceful pastures. I have been in the land of the living and I know the way there.

This is compassion.

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In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ~ Philippians 2:5-11