Here is a short meditation as I have been thinking about 1 John 1 and reading the poem, Cleanse the Thoughts by Walter Bruegemann
Why do I try to hide
When I am already fully known by You?
My secrets ooze out of the pores of my life,
despite my best efforts to keep them hidden.
My shame keeps me
from the help that I so desperately need.
Your wooing voice cries out to me,
Allow yourself to be known.
Join in the celebration with the saints,
our blood-bought victory,
our bondage-breaking liberation,
our friendship-restoring redemption.
Allow yourself to be known
And to be loved
as a less-than-perfect
image-bearer of the King.”
O Love, divine Love why do you lay siege to me?
In a frenzy of love for me, You find no rest.
From five sides you move against me,
Hearing, sight, taste, touch, and scent.
To come out is to be caught; I cannot hide from You.
If I come out through sight I see Love
Painted in every form and color,
Inviting me to come to You, to dwell in You.
If I leave through the door of hearing,
What I hear points only to You, Lord;
I cannot escape Love through this gate.
If I come out through taste, every flavor proclaims;
“Love, divine Love, hungering Love!
You have caught me on Your hook, for you want to reign in me.”
If I leave through the door of scent
I sense You in all creation, You have caught me
And wounded me through that fragrance.
If I come out through the sense of touch
I find Your lineaments in every creature;
To try to flee from You is madness.
Love, I flee from You, afraid to give You my heart;
I see that You make me one with You,
I cease to be me and can no longer find myself.
If I see evil in a man or defect or temptation,
You fuse me with him, and make me suffer;
O Love without limits, who is it You love?
It is You, O Crucified Christ,
Who takes possession of me,
Drawing me out of the sea to the shore;
There I suffer to see Your wounded heart.
Why did You endure the pain?
So that I might be healed.
Jacapone Da Todi
Thanks Jonathan for a lovely Epiphany service tonight and for sharing with us this poem.
Saw this poem mentioned in Richard Swenson’s In Search of Balance and found it here
Miles across the turbulent kingdoms
They came for it, but that was nothing,
That was the least. Drunk with vision,
Rain stringing in the ragged beards,
When a beast lamed, they caught up another
And goaded west.
For the time was on them.
Once, as it may, in the life of a man,
Once, as it was, in the life of mankind,
All is corrected. And their years of pursuit,
Raw-eyed reading the wrong texts,
Charting the doubtful calculations,
Those nights knotted with thought,
When dawn held off, and the rooster
Rattled the leaves with his blind assertion—
All that, they regarded, under the Sign,
No longer as search but as preparation.
For when the mark was made, they saw it.
Nor stopped to reckon the fallible years,
But rejoiced and followed,
And are called “wise”, who learned that Truth,
When sought and at last seen,
Is never found. It is given.
And they brought their camels
Breakneck into that village,
And flung themselves down in the dung and dirt of that place,
And kissed that ground, and the tears
Ran on their faces, where the rain had.
Following is a paraphrase of Romans 8:18-25 by Macrina Wiederkehr in the 1991 reprint of her book, Seasons of the Heart.
It appears to me that whatever we suffer now will show up only dimly when compared to the wonders God has in store for us. It is as though all creation is standing on tiptoe longing to see an unforgettable vision, the children of God being born into wholeness.
Although creation is unfinished, still in the process of being born, it carries within it a secret hope. And the hope is this: A day will come when we will be rescued from the pain of our limitation and incompleteness and be given our share in a freedom that can only belong to the children of God.
At the present moment of all creation is struggling as though in the pangs of childbirth. And that struggling creation includes even those of us who have had a taste of the spirit. We peer into the future with our limited vision, unable to see all that we are destined to be, yet believing because of a hope we carry so deep within.
Wiederkehr writes the following as a reflection on Romans 8.
Could it be true
That some folks die
Because our hope is too small
To bring them forth?
It is good to remember:
We do not give birth to ourselves.
We give birth to others
By believing in that first, small spark of life
The spark we can barely see.
It is called hope.
After reading the above, I wrote the following confession:
Forgive me Lord for not having hope
They need the gift of hope I can offer them
And when I withhold hope
Or may never be born
Forgive me Lord
Just back from a two-day silent retreat and while away, I found the following poem from Seasons of Your Heart: Prayers & Reflections
by Macrina Wiederkehr. Still praying this!
The truth about myself
How beautiful it is!
“Unite my heart to fear your name” Psalm 86:11
Is my heart ready
to play music for you?
Do I wait?
Suspended in time,
Ready to dance,
Ready to sing,
As your Spirit
With breezes of love.