To the believers from Mosul

Image: Al Jazeera
Image: Al Jazeera

Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

            (Hebrews 12:3-4)


We are not surprised by this; we

should not be surprised. This is

how it is, has always been:

what Jonah learnt beneath the palm

when Ninevah was spared and sun

burnt upon his skull


is true today – although it aches.

What mercy poured into those walls –

a city spared, but soon a foe –

is pouring day by day, and yet

it is not always seen by us;

it is not always known.


My comfort drives my knees to pray;

your loss, your anguish angers me.

What right have I to speak of this?

What can I know of Ninevah?

Yet I too have my foes; I hide

from judgment and the sun.


This fiery trial will seize us all;

to some it scalds, yet others sing

with joy to be thought worthy of

the pains of Christ. And so should we

who hide in comfort, sing with you,

long with you for His day.

With reverent fear

In this you greatly rejoice, though for now
Your life flits by, empty at times, sometimes glad.
And in these days, though you furrow your brow,
The breeze on your face can still lift up the sad,
And music is sweet, and the grace that is seen
Falls likewise on righteous, unrighteous,
Both blesses the generous, blesses the mean,
Gives food and gives sun to shine on us.
Despise not the day of the tenderest things:
In each blessing, rejoice; each joy, savour.
Yet know that one day, when the Son of Dawn sings,
All your earthly joys then will be vapour.
So live out your days now in reverent fear,
Rejoicing in Him till the new day appear.