Wednesday 24 December 2014


In the moments that pass
 it’s easy to forget that each and every second that slips into history found its trajectory in the beginning,
formed and foreseen on a grand scale,
such complexity is beyond the imaginings of everyday moments,
so far beyond comprehension and more immaculately formed than history could ever reason,
stars scratching pockets of light into night’s grey shadow,
fresh rains filled with static scent,
bird song heard at every moment
and from every destination more music spills out of creation,
life blood from open wounds,
in such moments eternity calls out in perpetual clang and clamour,
life upon life upon life and there is no letting go,
too far beyond imagination,
too heady to comprehend,
and through these moments each hour meets with love
and hopes dashed,
grief and birth,
death’s song stalks the same hospital wards as birth’s angelic cry,
this story erupts into the ether,
punctuating the mundane with the extremes of every form,
and into this day
 screams beckon forth
bloodied life,
formed in eternity,
ageless truth enacted,
personified with purpose,
to this diet of life and death the son comes,
fully formed of human flesh,
to be cursed and to be beckoned into life’s every complexity,
this life born of the same blood and filth of life
into the hovel of the homeless
speaks without words and without actions,
very presence of the presence in the present happenings of that time,
immanence and transcendence tested to breaking,
beyond quick words and carefully formed phrase,
the creator
bearing hope and hurt and nursing at the breast,
limitless potential
formed of fragile clay
born of pain,
born into pain,
born of dust
and destined never to return to dust,
in the everyday hours of memories forgotten to history,
this form will find resolve in a different destiny,
light overcoming dark,
forgiveness framing fear,
solemn is humanity’s cry,
pitiful and plaintive,
burdened and beaten,
world wearied and worried
by rumours spoken on TV screens,
swiped from left to right on tablet touch screens,
telling tales of worry and truth’s terror,
this is the moment and this shall be the sign,
into this broken truth,
this brutal reality,
less than static yet unchanging,
into this
a birth beckons forth a new dawning
and a new opportunity,
a new understanding and a glimmer of hope,
the baby born to tension and threat,
born to bring release,
freedom and sight,
born to bring the disinherited home
and they are home,
in his arms,
engulfed by his perpetual embrace,
for the son born as baby lives beyond limits
and dies beyond imagination,
flesh and bone,
words and spit,
nails and loss,
rust and cost,
to this future he submits himself,
born in a stable,
laid in a trough,
born with blood and gritted groans,
clenched teeth and no home
but in a mother’s young arms and a father’s fervent gaze,
every breath-filled moment,
building on the last,
the kingdom comes,
built on rooted rocks and whispered dreams,
cradled in a manger,
the cornerstone soon to be discarded,
eternity’s song,
intimate and infinite,
nothing more and nothing less.

Thursday 4 December 2014


Holy, worthy, utterly magnificent;
We want to see your name held aloft,
Praised on tall mountains,
Exalted in cathedrals and at coffee tables,
Called out to the sky above us,
For you created it all.

Every moment is within your grasp,
Each leaf carries your DNA, encoded - it is all yours,
By your hand creation came to pass.

Arranger of stars,
It is your kingdom we long to see formed in our midst.

Before our days are at an end,
We dream of seeing your kingdom taking shape ever more fully.

But we are sick tooooo.

We are sick of lies, lies.

And we are sick of hate.

And contempt.


We are sick of this,
Life shaped by the sated,
Contemptible abuses that stain our streets,
Causing us to wonder just how much of your image there actually is in us.

Build your kingdom and build it fast,
The tracks of this train are straining and snagged.

We are headed nowhere beautiful and it is you that we need.

We will still sing in wild and endless praise of your name,
But our words are jagged,
Just as we, ourselves, are jagged,
Frayed at the edges,
Shadows of our calling,
Torn apart by mourning and injustice.

Speak a word to us,
You who is there in the vigil candle’s flickering flame,
You who is indelibly written on our arms,
You who stand kettled against the blockade,
You, who is deserving of shouted anthems of praise.


You are our voice.

Just as we are yours.

On Missouri streets you are an echo,
A startling sound ringing out across ages,
Calling your people home,
Your voice,
Honed in the clamour of exilic forays,
Knows the razed burn of lament.
We are merely yet more witnesses to yet another defamation of your image;
Squandered in chaos,
Wrestled into death,
Leviathan names another victim.

Credence given to Babylon’s tales and version of truth,
But you,
Shaper of seasons,
You are to be praised forever,
You whose breath gives life to clay and scatters dust,
And yet.


Not just another anything, but,
A person,
A name,
And suddenly stop,
And stay stopped.

Michael Brown,
Not just a name,
Not just anyone.


Not a face without a name,
For every face bears a name to you.

And this name was and is and ever shall be,
Michael Brown.

Giver of life, as we forage amidst the ashes of this collapse of love,
Help us to understand.

We find no peaceable resolve,
harmony is crushed and broken.

And yet we call out.

For justice.

For change.

We sing with your cadences.

We sing,
And you hear.

We cry,
And you hear.

But Babylon stays silent.

The meta-modern motif creaks,
Those straining train tracks.

There is lack.

There is decay and fear and persistence,
In wilful abandon they find their muse.

Yet you,
Instigator of all things,
You remain.




Known as much in your presence as you are in your absence.

Help us to hear you on the breeze,
To know you in burning branches,
And to trust you in the terrors of darkest night.

We long to sing praises to you,
But all we have is our lament,
Yet even in this,
We will gaze into imperceptible murk darkly,
Longing for a glimmer,
Quickly and without delay.

For the shadows gather,
And trouble rides with them.

So to you beyond our horizons and cradled within our cracked clay frames,
To you we sing our songs.

You are beyond all our words,
Anything we might see fit to mutter.

You are beyond.

And beyond is what we long for.

Beyond and yet immanent.

To you we cry out,
For you know our names and we each weigh heavy on your heart.


Ferguson know justice.

Ferguson know peace.

America see with wide open eyes.

Fill time and space with words,
Some spoken,
Some silent,
Words of prayer.

And may peace flow like a river through dry temple courts,
And may a faithful rhythm be found for all people,
For those who wander - lost.

Those who march and sing prophetic acclamations.

And those who whose eyes are closed and whose hearts are hardened,



(Written: 23:15 on 29/11/2014 - 01:21 on 30/11/2014)

Monday 18 August 2014

Lectionary poetry no more

This is a post I've been wanting to write for a month or so now, but I've not been wholly sure about it, yet at the weekend, at a Sunday gathering of the community I'm involved with, Restore (more on that later), while studying the Gospel of Mark we had a fantastic conversation about the timeliness of the leading of the Holy Spirit. The time to move on, to change the shape of ministry, to change the place of ministry and the time to lay some things down so that others might be picked up (or not...) At the same time I've been reading Fresh by Volland, Goodhew and Roberts and been reminded of the analogous situation contemporary culture and the church are in, with the early church context. Goodhew makes a great case for the role the Holy Spirit played in shaping the early church, and I feel that I need to heed that.

When I moved house I knew I wouldn't get a few weeks of my regular Lectionary poems written, but I'd always planned to catch up, then I checked, I had six poems to catch up with. This left me wondering, "why am I doing this?" I knew why I had been doing, I knew the reasons:

1. As a way to deal with being in a Lectionary based church, finding a way to grow, to be challenged and shaped by the cycle of readings my church community used.

2. To create something that i hoped would (at times) be a resource for those who engaged with project.

And while the second reason was still valid, the first had gone. And while I still want to resource my previous church community, that's not the appropriate thing to be focusing on. At Restore we are not currently based in the cycle of Lectionary readings, that may change, but it may not and I have no interest in pre-empting it.

One of the challenges with the Lectionary project was the amount of poetic energy, or creative focus it took each week. It was at times a burden, which quite heavily sapped my ability to write other pieces. Since giving up the Lectionary series I've written fifteen pieces for a long-standing collaborative project and that has been good. The pieces have reflected my thoughts about the journey this new community is taking, and the whole thing has been so helpful.

So, I am sorry, for those who have used the Lectionary poems, those who have found them helpful, they may well return, but I think its important to refocus and look afresh at what I'm doing. And if we don't allow the Holy Spirit to lead us in our personal creativity before God, will be be prepared to hold our churches and communities before God and seek the Holy Spirit's guidance for them either...

Wednesday 30 July 2014


hate this disgrace
makes me feel irate
to stand against terror and
be afraid of labels of race hate
when no god is to blame
but the actions of humans
who know better
by the words of the book
mistook and misspoken
pronounced and refocused
turn from this death and look down from the skies
see the fear
the tears in eyes
the burning yearning gut wrenching cries
of children in a school
of families slaughtered
of mothers holding children
of death in the class room
the clock is past noon
and the christ is crucified
no one on earth can justify
why babies die
when the promised land is awash with pain
when tears and fears are forever the same
will the world wake up
will the world react
will the world dare to speak the words
so many have left unsaid
will the world dare to proclaim
that you can’t justify the dead
with statistics
and words and more words
when the only words that matter

are the cries that are never heard

Friday 27 June 2014


Open your doors to the awkward voiced callers,
Serve bread and wine at the feast of the freaks,
Listen to a sermon from a passing by neighbour,
Sit on the floor and kiss the feet of the righteous,
Chance to encounter Christ at the bus stop,
Buy all the Big Issues from the girl from Romania[1],
Prepare the guest room for the travelling hobo,
Cancel the meetings and entertain the seeker of asylum,
Forfeit the services and replace them with service,
Revoke the debts of the street sleeper who owes you,
Buy home insurance from the door to door seller,
Give the church’s silver to the man[2] collecting scrap,
And finally expect a reward that’s utterly unexpected.

[1] In Nantwich, our Big Issue seller is from Romania.
[2] It’s gender specific for the reason that in Nantwich, there’s a well known local gent who pushes a huge trolley around town seeking scrap metal.

Friday 20 June 2014

LECTIONARY FIRST SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY: Whispers in the Dark and a Cross on the Horizon (Matthew 10:24-39)

Tarrying onward
Carrying homeward
Dreams and stories
Tales of the past
Following a well-worn course
Stepping into the future with every new morning
Bringing forward words that the saviour has said
Sheltering the hearts of those who cannot take another step
What’s said in the dark must be spoken in the light
And what is whispered in our ears must be shouted from the rooftops
Which paints a painful picture
Of whispered words that must be shouted
Of darkness giving over to light
When all the while, standing there on that horizon is a cross-shaped hole
A cross-shaped hole waiting to be made whole
Following that progression of steps
Not to somewhere sacred but somewhere deranged
Past the place where the well wishers turn away and head back to church
These ways are dark
Inhabited by shadows
And the voice of God
Lay down the facade of perfect sainthood
Bring on the doubts and the doubters and the doubt shouters
The teachers of untruths
Ultimately uncouth will be unloosed from the webs they entangle
Snares broken down and borne away to a lonely grave
Rife with cost
This walk
Tearing families apart
Tears tearing down well-loved cheeks
Tears tracing tracks through tear-soaked pillows
Weep not for what you know
But for what might never be known
Pour out praise for a man who beckons
Onward to your cross
Scatter in red rust dust the dalliances of another day
Turn anew towards a pre-redacted way
Savour sharp flavours on the tips of your tongue
Taste the words that remain in your ears
Speak a truth from within
Just begun
This life
This Son

Wednesday 18 June 2014

LECTIONARY TRINITY SUNDAY: Sent (Matthew 28:16-20)

Sorry for the delay with this one. And its based on the passage, not too much on the Trinity!

The sending out was not an ending
But a beginning
Laden with cost
With its walk towards the cross
On the surface
The simplicity and synchronised
Would have been
So very overwhelming
These actions
A new formula
From which to form life
A recipe viewed
And observed
Participated in for
Three short years
Until the family recipe was
Passed on
‘Make disciples’
Even in worship some doubted
Yet all were sent
Carrying hopes
Bearing losses
Dreaming of futures
Imagining crosses
Preparing to live
In a new mode of being
With the faithful teacher
No longer seen
And with aspirations reframed
They went
To this world lent

A quote I read recently, it’s not necessarily something new, the emphasis can be found in Bonhoeffer and many more), but it’s helpful to me:

‘Put simply, to undertake the reJesus project one must first be committed to being marked by Jesus, to submit oneself to being shaped and changed to reflect more and more the lifestyle and teaching of Jesus.’

Michael Frost & Alan Hirsch, ReJesus: A Wild Messiah For A Missional Church (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 2009), 35.

Friday 6 June 2014

LECTIONARY PENTECOST: "Fire of heaven" (Acts 2:1-21)

Fire of heaven ignite in us
You are the Lord, you are the Lord
You are the lord of all

Fire of heaven you call us home
Into your arms, into your arms
Into your loving arms

Fire of heaven open our eyes
To see your glory, to see your glory
To see your glory and adore

Fire of heaven break through all pain
Set captives free, set captives free
Set captives free today

Fire of heaven break out in us
Release your gifts, release your gifts,
Release your gifts we pray

Fire of heaven you deserve praise
We worship your throne, we worship your throne
We’ll worship your throne always

Fire of heaven defeater of sin
Welcome us in, welcome us in

Welcome us into your heart

Hi all, just two notes (with 3 extras) to go with this reading:

1. I've not used the gospel - it's Pentecost, it has to be the Acts reading!

2. The idea behind this piece came from a moment of prayer when the words of the first verse dropped into my head,

"Fire of heaven ignite in us, you are the Lord, you are the Lord, you are the Lord of all" 

The words felt like they came with something of a tune/melody and so I've written the rest of the piece to fit with that.

Now, three more things:

A. I'm not a singer or a songwriter in the traditional sense of the words: I don't write formal structured music, I've tried before and found writing words to fit arrangements or melodies is more musical hassle than I have the skills to deal with. I therefore know that in some verses like the third one, there are probably two too many syllables or beats or something - and so it goes on.

B. This felt very much like the potential beginning of a collaborative piece, which might be of use to folk as we approach Pentecost, you might like to add your own verses (whether they fit in terms of beats and syllables or not). I've been thinking about Taize chants for a while (and AntiTaize too - more on that later)

C. in an act of utter vulnerability I've attached a link to Soundcloud where you'll be able to find a one take recording with lots of pitching problems, issues with tune (yes I know) and awful singing, but as I'm not someone who writes music and I didn't want to just leave a "hummmm" track on Soundcloud I've put a vocal recording on there. Listen / giggle / create / ignore - I'm easy.

In a further act of vulnerability, if anyone does decide to write extra verses to this thing, please feel free to leave a comment below, or alternatively go do it on Twitter with the hashtag #fireofheaven 

Bless you.

also, if anyone wants to re-record a version that sounds better and actually fits, please do, I'll happily put it on soundcloud and link it here!

Sunday 1 June 2014

LECTIONARY SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER: "I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world" (John 17:1-11)

“I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world”

“I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world”
And in the world they will remain
Called to walk in paths of light
Sent out to preach hope
And embody love
All their days they will walk with God
Brought out from under the shroud of sin
Freed to speak awkward truths
And unpopular words
Bearing on human shoulders
A message of divine grace
Full of the love of the one who sent them.
They will speak when others remain silent
They will remain silent when others speak
They will wait when others act
They will act when others wait
And in their concrete lives lived
Among the people of all nations
The word of hopeful anticipation will go with them
With opened eyes and ears and hands and hearts
They will travel beyond borders
Past unbroken boundaries
Persistence will be their hallmark
And restoration will be their banner
And as all things pass away
Their words and deeds will be solid foundations
On which the kingdom has been built.

Saturday 24 May 2014

LECTIONARY SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER: Spirit of Truth (John 14:5-21)


- I really struggled with this one: so I went back to a style of poetry I used to write 12-14 years ago. Especially during my time in Canada and Cambridge.

So, this is (most likely, ironically) a bit of a punt (!).

I'm also not entirely happy with the last couplet, but it'll have to do for now...

Spirit of Truth

If I see with your eyes will it all become clear
If I follow your ways will you always be near

If I hope to step outward and stay in line with you
Will you stay by my side and help me be true

With every moment that I can, will offer you praise
If you promise to hold me and when needed lift my gaze

For there’s too much disappointment and too much to do
And no matter how I try I always lose sight of you

Perhaps that’s the problem that I rely on myself
That I live in isolation protected by wealth

Lord help me to follow a simple true life
That I’ll know your presence, through the good and through strife

May I always seek you wherever I am
May my heart always long, for your bigger plan

Given every gift you’ve given and all I’ve not earned
Would you teach me compassion for those that I’ve spurned

Spirit of Truth you point to the life and the way
Keep my eyes focused on you until the end of my days

Let me lay down the cerebral and all that interferes
And know you completely with the rest of my years

Be my ever present protector, my companion through all of my days
Walk with me through my weakness and show me your ways

Stand firm alongside when the world does confuse me
That my model of wisdom and compassion you will always be

As I flee inside myself away from this pain
Help me to know that you will, with me remain

For it is only alongside you and through you - that I can truly live
And only through the son’s surrender that redemption God gives.

Saturday 17 May 2014


You tell us to not let our hearts be troubled, but they are.
You explain to us about the place where you are going, and that’s confusing enough, but we’re not ready to be left alone in this place.
There is a place set aside for us, a promise, a house with many rooms and that sounds so fantastic,
But it also sounds so distant, so unattached to where we are and the concerns that fill our lives.
We carry troubles with us daily.
You have spoken of rest; you have spoken words of love,
You have shared fellowship in ways beyond our imagining
And you have our love
Our devotion
Our hungers and our hurts
But you also have our questions.
You have our lives, the ups and the downs,
You have our dreams,
They’re yours to plant in the ground,
We know you Lord, we know you for who you are,
We’ve seen what you have done,
We have heard and seen,
Our ears and eyes sing
They are living tributes to you
Memories shaped by moment’s time could never have predicted
It is us who ask the questions
Want the words spoken
Need reassurance and seek to see your kingdom come
We do believe, we do believe in you,
That you are so utterly and unfathomably linked with the father
We understand and yet we do not comprehend
Don’t hold that against us
It’s not for lack of trying
We hold no doubts
We only hold desires for questions to be answered
You see as if from heaven’s eyes
We see simply with these eyes
We touch with callused hands
We bear truth on heavy arms
Borne with the baggage of lives lived for another purpose
We are fed more than crumbs but we don’t see the whole picture
Bear with us as we bear with you.
You are the way
You are the truth
And you are even the life
When you speak these words we know them to be true
But we also know that to go where you go will hold challenges we cannot comprehend
We see you now
And we have seen the father
Just as we know you
Just as we are known
So take us home

Friday 9 May 2014


May every step that’s taken,
Every uttered word,
Every glance that occurs,
Be your most divine will,

May every aspiration that remains
Every selfish ambition
Every convoluted scheme
Be reoriented for your glory

May every waking moment, and
Every new day sun
Every change in season
Be worked to sing your praise

May every thought and inclination
Every word of witness spoken
Every life giving breath
Be thoughtfully inclined towards your grace

May this little life find security, in
Every footstep of the shepherd
Every follower on you focused
Be ever before your gathered crowd.

Saturday 3 May 2014

#LiveBelowTheLine end of day four and day 5

On day four, I finished the day with rice and tomatoes and red kidney beans.

On day five I had a banana for breakfast.

I went to the supermarket and bought a half price packaged risotto for 49p.

A banana for 11p

A can of plum tomatoes for 34p

For lunch I had a banana, (getting out of bed on day five was hard and getting past lunchtime even harder)

For dinner I had rice, a whole can of plum tomatoes and the left over red kidney beans,

and for supper (yes supper!) I had a can of mushy peas, which were amazing!

I think I ended the week with 7p left!

I woke up the next morning weighing 89.2kg

I'd gone from 93.9 to 89.2 meaning I'd lost 4.7 kg, 10lbs 3 oz in five days. Not as much as last time but still. 

My discussion of weight loss isn't about vanity, it isn't about crashing dieting, its about subsistence living for those who are day labourers in the third world (and perhaps closer to home with zero hours contracts), those who work full days without getting enough food or the right type of food to sustain weight and give energy and nutrients.

In my diet I afforded only one bit of dairy and that was freeze dried, pretty much the same with fats too!

Thank you to all who have supported me.

I've learnt a lot again this year. I've prayed a lot again this year, and I have been challenged again, to think about my own consumption. But perhaps more on this another time.

Blessings and thank you.

Thursday 1 May 2014



Dust unsettles with every motion forward
Heavy hearts are carried, encased in cracked clay
So much has passed and so much gone awry
Then whispers of strange happenings today

Magic on the lips that shared rumours
Too unsubtle to actually be true
If only eyes could corroborate
Making sense of this news, this view

Words interweave with memories
And hopes and prophecies dance
Held together in tension
The central characters of this romance

As steps pass beyond steps
Shattered dreams are shared
Longing slips seamlessly into speech
Recalled phrases of him who dared

The village beyond the horizon
Will host this night, with its terrors
Its confusing claims
Through conversation tackling errors

There must be a truth hidden in the kernel
Of words spoken to Peter
And the others as they shared memories
Of a dead man disappearing into ether

Affably, affronted, aggressive, antagonised
Clues of this mystery are lost in arid sun
White linen, tangled strips
Enlivened promise causing Peter to run

Two pairs of dusty feet joined by another
A pilgrimage being played out
Journeying together, three as one
A mysterious stranger, without a doubt

Movements stop and eyes hold the ground
In longing gazes, shoulders hunched
What to say, where to start this sorry tale
Words chewed out behind teeth clenched

This red week’s happenings played out once more
Among unfamiliar friends on the road
Burdens shared and cut to thirds
Weighed down by grief’s unbearable load

But he who walked alone sighs and whispers, “fools”
Beginning at the earliest beginnings
The outsider shares truths hidden in history
And with every word shared living hope springs

There are words in the Prophets
For what has this week occurred
Ancient texts are brought to life on this man’s lips
And there is understanding to be found no matter how absurd

Sun’s heat begins to lose its rage
And tired feet near their destination
Yet the stranger steps onward as if to pass
By to keep going, walking, his vocation

But huddling together two voices call out to one
“There is rest to be found, rest and food”
All three pass through the door’s frame
To table they went perfection’s setting for what ensued

The stranger assumes the role of host
And gives thanks, breaks and blesses bread
Torn crumbs fall to the table
As eyes suddenly alive lose scales of dread

Before their gaze they know
More clearly than anything they’ve known before
That the guest at the table
Is him their heart’s adore

With no opportunity for an eye to blink
And no moment for mouths to form words
The three become two and there is
Recognition in the soul’s that are stirred

Scripture’s secrets had spilled out before them
A deep ache was the sign that was given
Clues that had been ignored come to fruition
Both stood by a new purpose driven

Two pass again through the door’s frame
Eyes focused beyond the dark horizon
From what had been their destination
To those God’s glory might enlighten

No second wasting these tired feet
Speak with every step of a new purpose
And a new word to share
Across the dry and dusty surface

To the crowd congregated they venture
Forward into history’s new dawning
Stepping past gathering darkness
And walking towards a new morning

“He is risen! We have seen”
Is the cry of their heart’s
And as if waking from a dream
The lifelong adventure starts.

#LiveBelowTheLine Day three and day four (before lunch!)

Yesterday I bought eggs for 89p. An expensive luxury but so good.

So I had two scrambled eggs for breakfast.
For lunch I had rice with half a can of chopped tomato. Yummy! (a student meal!)

While she was at the supermarket Clare found half a cucumber reduced from 35p to 11p. She asked if I wanted it, "yes please".

Afternoon snack - cucumber.
Tea - 2 eggs and rice (it doesn't taste good with out the oil to cook it in - I should ahve remembered from last year)

On Day four I had two scrambled eggs for breakfast, and I found that as with last year, getting out of bed was really hard, so I went to the supermarket and spent 90p.

Two bananas - 22p
Can of mushy peas - 16p
Can of red kidney beans - 30p
An apple - 22p

I had an apple this morning, at 22p it is a luxury. But it's interesting, this is the second year of "live below the line" for me and both times now, by Thursday I'd wanted an apple, sugary juice, vitamins, citrus taste, the whole experience was fantastic. Cutting the apple into slices and eating juicy sections.
Simply wonderful.

And the repetition of this need from last year was quite striking, perhaps the body knows what it needs after all...

Last year, I remember that after the week had finished I told myself I was going to eat more fruit than I do normally. It lasted for a bit, then easy, tasty, sugary chocolate took over.

I'll see what happens this year!

Tuesday 29 April 2014

#LiveBelowTheLine Day one and two

I started my second go at living below the line yesterday.

I'd found the challenge really helpful last year and found it spiritually moving too. I'm doing it again.

For Monday I spent 92p.
- Tinned potatoes 15p
- Tinned mushy peas 16p
-Tinned sweetcorn 21p
- Rice 40p

I had rice and sweetcorn salad for lunch.
Mushy peas and dry-fried tin potatoes for tea
A bit of rice for supper.

For Tuesday I spent £1.07 ( a note on this later)
- Two bananas 18p
- Can of value chilli 55p!
- Chopped tomatoes 34p

For breakfast I have had a banana.
For lunch chilli, rice and potatoes
For tea I will have chilli and rice
For supper, a banana

Four reflections to note so far:

1. Feel like I have settled into a prayer / mealtime routine more quickly than I did last year.

2. I really want chocolate and am already looking at ways to stretch the budget.

3. Am once again challenged by the wheat-free angle. Last night at Sainsbury's, the bread was all selling off at the end of the day, 12 wheaty bread rolls for 9p. Or two wheat-free bread rolls for £1.99. Hmmm.

4. Last year i got myself in such a tiz-woz trying to make sure I ate no more than £1.00 of food a day. And getting all confused, that if I saved money to buy, for example, eggs, the next day, I would come to the end of the week and have to leave food untouched, as some kind of overspend. But all that is in my mind as a consequence of doing #LiveBelowTheLine in my way, as I did last year, I am giving myself £1 a day to spend on food. I didn't start the week with £5. My reasons for that remain the same (and I am in no ways saying my way of doing it is preferable to anyone else's way, it's just something that I'm keen to do.)

Enjoying the week and glad for all that I take for granted.

Saturday 26 April 2014

LECTIONARY SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER: Thomas, Doubtless (John 20:19-31)

Thomas, Doubtless

Thomas, you're my apostle, the one who had a clue,

And you never shrunk away from the painfulness of the true,

Living at the edge of what was credible, and by extension uncouth,

Within your hands you grasped truth beyond falling grains of sands,

Yet you never grabbed the saviour’s skin,

And never forced your fingers in,

You never danced in the dark like they’d like us all to think, But you walked in light, with truth by your side,

Your guide, so bright,

It was you who knew the saviour’s call and it was you who would walk willingly to the cross with him,

No chagrin falsehoods held you back,

No cynical contritions were there to distract,

You from his cause,

And I give my thanks to God for you,

For you were the one who stepped beyond the shadows and recognised the Son,

And your eyes knew the Lord when you saw him,

I love the energy with which you lived out your faith,

Not stopping to pause,

Thomas, your faith was an all in or all out faith,

No second rate stopping to hold back, “backslide” (sic), shy encumbered faith,No wayward walking disgraced faith,

Rather you stepped into the chasm with Jesus as your guide,

You stood beside the saviour while your fellow disciples held their breath,

They thought you’d put your fingers in the side of that saviour,

Like they’d never actually registered the words that left his mouth,

His head hung low, looking out at you and those beyond,

No picture paints this situation and no picture’s worth its frame,

We’ve cast you as the villain,

And it’s us who should take the blame,

Thomas when I’m older and I look back on my life,

I’ll pray to God for mercy, and for passage through the strife, And in those hours I’ll remember you and the way you lived your walk,

My God, my God, my God,

May my faith resemble yours,

For while they all were hiding, you were out there on the street, while they were casting shadows you were somewhere far removed,

Maybe looking for the Christ among the people that you met,

And when you heard the tale about Jesus being present, did you question this new reality, or wonder about their account?

It’s all a moment snatched from sand in an hour glass, captured like a Polaroid to paint a picture that deceives, this house of mirrors can’t hold back this truth,

Thomas in your lifetime you followed the living Lord,

And Thomas since your passing you’ve inspired millions more,

(If you were living now, you’d be trolled all day on Twitter)

But those of us who know you better and have walked beside you on your walk, we fear the steps we have to take as we contemplate our Lord,

We tread the paths others have made and we try our damnedest to be glad, Thomas you inspire, a life like very few others,

And that word that’s hung around your neck, a verbal noose that must be loosed,

Must be lost, cast down, beside the saviour’s crown of thorns,

The faith with which you lived is with what your memory should be adorned.

The words they come too easily to those who’ve never known, the words they come to easily to those whose feet have never flown,

But in purest terms you followed,

And that’s all we have to give,

So offering my cracked clay facade I will walk this path with you,

I’ll hope to follow him closely,

And I’ll try to know it’s true,

And with every step I take and every inhalation I make,

My breath will echo you,

This faith will be enacted,

This resurrection be embodied,

This dream will be built on foundations of longing And hope.

Rest now Thomas, and let the labels be laid down,

For in this generation, in you a Saint’s veneration has been found.

Thomas, Doubtless is a stream of consciousness poem written in 6 minutes.