The moment

when I realise
not that I must always be Somewhere –
fording some Jordan, scaling some Hebron,
engaged in daily grandiose deeds –
but that here, now,
at the interstice of wilful self
and the ever-grinding call
to nothing grand but

a pile of dishes,
a child needing a hug,
a moment of playing at eye-level on the floor,
a gracious word to turn away my own vigilant wrath,

is precisely where
the fear, the trembling, the working-out
of Grace’s grindstone begins.

20 Contemplations #7: Crux

image
Marc Chagall, "White Crucifixion"

…he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
(Philippians 2:8)

Did He view the Cross from birth? Did crossbeams
In the stable tell Him where He’d go?
Did He see the Cross in treetops’ glow
As He flew to earth from Heaven’s beams?
Perhaps as Joseph carved at night, His dreams
Spoke to Him of timber, nails, a show
Of Roman triumph in their streets. He’d know
From birth, for He knows all. Yet did it seem
As though His life was bent to Cross? A sword
Would pierce His mother’s soul, so she was told
By Simeon, who declared that some would fall;
And as He learned to walk, to talk, to be
As humans are on earth, He knew from old
That cursed would be the man hung on a tree.

20 Contemplations #3: Downward Flight

Wassily Kandinsky - Improvisation 26
Wassily Kandinsky, “Improvisation 26”

…who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant…
(Philippians 2:6-7)

He wraps Himself in light. He orders stars
And plunges to depths unseen since Adam.
Watch the flurry of clouds; watch each atom’s
Disarray as He switches near and far.
Who can make this be? We wonder what You are
That Your disorder should not be random.
Every speck, each stardust spark is planned, on
Cue; wings of night appear, angels in choir –

Listen: the heavens rearrange. He comes down
To dirt, to manger hay, carpenter’s dust.
Fathom this grace? None can. Ever deepening,
Ever plummeting the heart’s mire, it must
Defy our brain’s capacity, must drown
All expectation at this wonder, sleeping.

Lent: Humility 1

In praises, bow.
The dust heap is not your final home, yet He is king
and though a king He also bowed
and, humble, became dust.
So wait in dust, and bow.

And sing!
Such humble, unaffected fun befits the heirs
of one who danced the stars alight –
again! again! – in child’s constant joy.
Breathing into soil, He cherished soil;
rejoice; do not forget.

Do not forget His downward climb,
or His eyes turned in heavenward tears –
praise for truth revealed to babes;
anguish at the cup outstretched;
and always, Not my will but yours.
Bow at His feet and sing.

Bach Cantata, BWV 47 – 1.Chorus – Wer sich selbst erhöhet