Saturday, April 16, 2011

to be explosively healed

This second week of April has been an absolutely crazy one!

I participated in two different prayer rooms, one of which I coordinated. I had an article posted on the 24-7 Ireland website. I handed in two of my four final assignments, one of which was pretty much entirely written between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning.

So, I'm a bit behind with my poetry month project. This week's poem is another that I've posted about before:

They say that for years Belfast was backwards
and it's great now to see some progress.
So I guess we can look forward to taking boxes
from the earth. I guess that ambulances
will leave the dying back amidst the rubble
to be explosively healed. Given time,
one hundred thousand particles of glass
will create impossible patterns in the air
before coalescing into the clarity
of a window. Through which, a reassembled head
will look out and admire the shy young man
taking his bomb from the building and driving home.
~ Alan Gillis

This week I've had several conversations about the Troubles with different groups of people. Some who were retelling stories they heard from their parents. Some who grew up in the midst of it all. Some, those who were my age, caught in between the two perspectives.

There was a great program on the BBC this week about the time that Mother Teresa and a few of her Sisters lived in West Belfast. They were there for about 18 months during the height of the troubles, in the early 70s. It's a very different thing to read about horrific things than it is to see them on tv.

Anyway, all of that to say that this poem in some way expresses the kinds of prayers that I've been praying for Belfast. That the Lord would bring healing and set things back to rights again.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Come On! // Director's Cut from 24-7 Prayer on Vimeo.

another rant on worship

Eight and half years ago my friend Stephen died in a car crash. At his memorial service my friend John Mark played a song that has, in the years since, become a bit of a phenomenon in the worship scene. It's gone pretty far afield, spread by Jesus Culture and David Crowder.

Most people have never heard the final verse of the song which goes like this:

"I thought about you the day Stephen died
and you met me between my breaking.
I know that I still love you God
Despite the agony.
People they want to tell me you're cruel
But if Stephen could sing he'd say it's not true
Cause you're good."

I've never thought of this song as a worship song, despite singing it in countless worship services in various places around the world. Until last night.

Last night I was at a 24-7 Ireland gathering here in Belfast and the first song sung was "How He Loves." I was thinking about that final verse as we were singing and suddenly it hit me. What was it the people of Israel sang when they dedicated the Temple and the glory of the Lord filled it so that the priests couldn't even stand to minister?

"He is good and his steadfast love endures forever."

I think there are very few, if any, things which touch the Lord's heart more than holding onto the fact that he is good and that he loves us when all the circumstances around seem to say the opposite. That is real and true worship.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I have mentioned that I have a crush on this guy, right?

Monday, April 4, 2011

whatever a sun will always sing

I love to memorise things, especially poetry. And it's been a long time since I've done so. April is National Poetry Month (in the US anyway) and I usually like to mark it in someway. This year I'm hoping to memorise a new poem, or refresh an old one I've forgotten, each week. The first week is my favourite poem which I've posted here before but for some reason have never memorised. It's by my favourite poet, e.e. cummings. I've had a hard time focusing and concentrating the last few weeks. I'm also hoping that the stillness, repetitiveness, and the focus inherit in memorising will have a positive affect on my brain function in other areas as well. My academic writing and overall sanity could really use the help!

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

my heart)i am never without it(anywhere

i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done

by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear

no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want

no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)

and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows

higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart