The Gypsy Thieves of Wien

The Gypsy Thieves of Wien
 
They broke into our home.
They broke into our hearts.
 
I opened the door to our new sanctuary,
Found my precious memories on the floor.
The dining table strewn with melancholy,
My eyes observed and my heart felt sore.
 
They broke into our home.
They broke into our hearts.
 
We walked around our home in despair,
Stunned and cold, we took it all in.
I cried out loud as I looked everywhere,
As I felt Satan’s blow upon my chin.
 
They broke into our home.
They broke into our hearts.
 
We walked through the fog of our fears,
We prayed to God for a meaning.
Our newfound joy had turned into tears,
What on earth were they thinking!
 
They broke into our home.
They broke into our hearts.
 
What were you thinking as you broke into our home?
Did you not see love’s labour? Did you not feel a thing?
For surely you knew this was not the church of Rome
You stole priceless memories as you went hunting.
 
They broke into our home.
They broke into our hearts.
 
How many meals did you buy from the plunder?
How did you feel when they told you its just stones
Who is wearing my chain with my animals, I wonder
Do you know you missed out on my camera and phones?
 
They broke into our home.
They broke into our hearts.
 
I got down to clean the mess on the floor,
Then Grace shined like diamonds in the sand.
I found a precious ring right behind the door,
And I began to see God’s protective hand.
 
They broke into our home.
They broke into our hearts.
 
We found precious things we thought they had stolen,
Did He blind them or curse them? How did He stop them? 
Something dramatic happened, those thieves had to hasten,
Perhaps God’s army descended and caused mayhem!
 
They broke into our home.
They broke into our hearts.
 
Every sound, every note, even silence makes me uneasy,
But this too shall pass and the heart will grow strong.
The God of angel armies will restore each stolen memory
A new day will dawn and good will come from this wrong!
 
They broke into our home.
They broke into our hearts.
 
We are learning to see what cannot be seen
He is teaching us to trust and stretch our belief
His fingerprints of love are all over the scene
Oh God is good! In Him we find relief!
 
They broke into our home.
They broke into our hearts.
 

And it is Spring yet again….

Advent, Christmas, New Year, Deep Winter Days, it all seems to have fled by at fast-forward speed and here we are, it is spring yet again!

The garden is blooming and I’ve almost forgotten what I planted in the soil at autumn last year. Its refreshing and surprising watching a beautiful flower sprout up almost out of nowhere! Life could not be better represented than through the four seasons. 

After the silence of winter, there is so much of energy out there and I wonder what I will make of it. But for now, let me smile back at my flowers….

Advent, the beginning of an event.

Advent, the beginning of an event.

 

It is a snowy day today, everything has turned a magical white outside my window and it creates a sense of urgency within me. Yes, Christmas is around the corner and it is time to prepare for this event.

 

I was at Foyle’s in London a few weeks ago and I found myself inclining towards Christmas books and poems like the one written by Janet Morley, ‘haphazard by starlight’

 

Here is a poem for you written by Rawan Williams:

 

ADVENT CALENDAR

 

He will come like last leaf’s fall.

One night when the November wind

has flayed the trees to bone, and earth

wakes choking on the mould,

the soft shroud’s folding.

 

He will come like frost.

One morning when the shrinking earth

opens on mist, to find itself

arrested in the net

of alien sword-set beauty.

 

He will come like dark.

One evening when the bursting red

December sun falls up the sheet

and penny-masks its eye to yield

the star-snowed fields of sky.

 

He will come, will come,

will come like crying in the night,

like blood, like breaking,

as the earth writhes to toss him free.

He will come like child.

 

Advent is a time of waiting. I want to feel the movement of time through its length, in waiting for His coming ……

An Autumn Haiku

An Autumn Haiku

 

The vineyard is embracing autumn

 

vine leaves are shedding their spring remains

 

exposing their shining red souls

 

 

 — Jennifer Riegler

 

 

 

Another Loss, Another Gain

Another Loss, Another Gain

 

Roger Federer lost once again.

 

Then Thiem surprised and looked promising.

 

I got involved and saw him lose to Nadal.

 

I was comforted and told it is only a game!

 

I wish it were. It is not just a game. It is so much more!

 

It is a battle.

 

It is a four-hour saga.

 

It is about determination and courage; it is about losing outwardly, but having crossed many barriers and taking one giant step closer to the goal post.

 

It hurts.

 

We have been there many times in varied situations and battles in our own lives.

 

At times I identify with the winner and at other times with the loser .

 

Perhaps as I grow older I identify more with those who lose, because I know now that winning is momentarily rewarding, it makes for a good memory and worldly recognition, but losses enrich you within. They get you ready for the big win, they teach you to fight for the win that matters, the eternal win. And then it is worth the loss for now. It is only for now and if you let it do its thing, you will find your reward.

When summer’s end is nighing

When Summer’s End is Nighing

 

When summer’s end is nighing
And skies at evening cloud,
I muse on change and fortune
And all the feats I vowed
When I was young and proud.

 

The weathercock at sunset
Would lose the slanted ray,
And I would climb the beacon
That looked to Wales away
And saw the last of day.

 

From hill and cloud and heaven
The hues of evening died;
Night welled through lane and hollow
And hushed the countryside,
But I had youth and pride.

 

And I with earth and nightfall
In converse high would stand,
Late, till the west was ashen
And darkness hard at hand,
And the eye lost the land.

 

The year might age, and cloudy
The lessening day might close,
But air of other summers
Breathed from beyond the snows,
And I had hope of those.

 

They came and were and are not
And come no more anew;
And all the years and seasons
That ever can ensue
Must now be worse and few.

 

So here’s an end of roaming
On eves when autumn nighs:
The ear too fondly listens
For summer’s parting sighs,
And then the heart replies.

 

— A E Housman -1922

Spring by Christina Rossetti

Spring

 

Frost-locked all the winter,
Seeds, and roots, and stones of fruits,
What shall make their sap ascend
That they may put forth shoots?
Tips of tender green,
Leaf, or blade, or sheath;
Telling of the hidden life
That breaks forth underneath,
Life nursed in its grave by Death.

 

Blows the thaw-wind pleasantly,
Drips the soaking rain,
By fits looks down the waking sun:
Young grass springs on the plain;
Young leaves clothe early hedgerow trees;
Seeds, and roots, and stones of fruits,
Swollen with sap put forth their shoots;
Curled-headed ferns sprout in the lane;
Birds sing and pair again.

 

There is no time like Spring,
When life’s alive in everything,
Before new nestlings sing,
Before cleft swallows speed their journey back
Along the trackless track –
God guides their wing,
He spreads their table that they nothing lack, –
Before the daisy grows a common flower
Before the sun has power
To scorch the world up in his noontide hour.

 

There is no time like Spring,
Like Spring that passes by;
There is no life like Spring-life born to die, –
Piercing the sod,
Clothing the uncouth clod,
Hatched in the nest,
Fledged on the windy bough,
Strong on the wing:
There is no time like Spring that passes by,
Now newly born, and now
Hastening to die.

 

 

  — Christina Rossetti

Today is Good Friday

Today is Good Friday

 

Today is Good Friday; a day of quiet and being still. It is a challenge to stay in one attitude all day long, and yet it is a day of great significance for me, for you, and for our entire planet.  As C.S. Lewis said, “Death and Resurrection is what the story is about and had we but eyes to see it, this has been hinted on every page, met us in some disguise at every turn, and even been muttered in conversations between such minor characters (if they are minor characters) as the vegetables.”

 

I suffer from a pollen allergy and  I dread the beginning of April because it ushers in a few weeks of heavy sneezing, puffy-itchy eyes and a general sense of ill health for a couple of weeks. But it is quite different this year as we are arising out of a deep, deep winter and the first signs of sneezing and puffy eyes have in some uncanny fashion given me hope, for it is also a sign of life sprouting around me in the bushes and in the trees.  I hear the arrival of  sweet sounding birds that have migrated and are once again making their homes in our gardens and forests. Spring has begun! The grass is turning green, the daffodils have popped up here and there in my garden and the tiny daisy buds are full of promise!

 

And so it is with Good Friday. It is the advent of Eternal Spring for those who believe. I do.  To quote C.S. Lewis again, “Some people probably think of the Resurrection as a desperate last moment expedient to save the Hero from a situation which had got out of the Author’s control.”

I am not one of them. I am convinced beyond a measure of doubt that the Lord of all creation executed a well planned and well thought of strategy to save His creation. He succeeded. Only He could have saved what He had created. And on Good Friday we remember His  choice. His sacrifice. He enrolled Himself among sinners and in doing so He became their advocate. I leave you with a few words from Charles H. Spurgeon and wish you a day full of hope and joy for you have been released and set free. You may wish to claim it for yourself if you haven’t already. It is a free gift from the Lord of all creation! 

 

“Why did Jesus cause Himself to be enrolled among sinners? This wonderful condescension was justified by many powerful reasons. By doing so, He could better become their Advocate. In some trials there is an identification of the counselor with the client, nor can they be looked upon in the eye of the law as separate from each other. Now, when the sinner is brought to the bench, Jesus appears there Himself. He stands to answer the accusation. He points to His side, His hands, His feet, and challenges Justice to bring anything against the sinners whom He represents. He pleads His blood and pleads so triumphantly, being numbered with them and having a part with them that the Judge proclaims, “Let them go, deliver them from the pit, for He has provided a ransom.” Charles  H. Spurgeon

 

It seems too good to be true. In a morally fallen world, it seems too good to be true. A Resurrection is needed. The good news is that it happened over 2000 years ago. It is a matter of time before the advent of Eternal Spring. It will happen in the twinkling of an eye, no sneezing, no puffy eyes, just the sweet scent of the Risen Saviour! I am excited and it is worth enduring all the emotional and spiritual allergies that come our way now as we continue to live and endeavour. Saint Paul has truly said, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

 

I wish you a time of deep reflection, joy, peace and hope as you live through Good Friday and wake up on Easter morning!