MOST RECENT POSTS

In this column you will find the most recent posts unless you have selected a specific poem, meditation or collection/index in which case that single item will appear here.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

'Manacled', A reflection on slavery and the suffering Saviour


Manacled
Could I endure
being sold,
having manacles on my legs,
my arms and my neck;
Being beaten,
and then forgive?
I think I could not.

Yet Jesus bore for me,
being sold, nails through the feet,
pierced hands,
a crown of thorns,
being beaten to within an inch of life
and biting scorn;
and still forgives me.

One of a collection of meditations, poems and music for Lent which can be found HERE

Original introduction read
This week I have the privilege to be on a Mixed media painting and prayer retreat organized by the Creative Arts Retreat Movement  (link below), splendidly led by Esther Aronsfield and Hope Allen in the delightfully located Launde Abbey (link below). Some of what I have done/am doing will, I feel pretty certain, appear on this blog in due course.

But my mind was, in our free time, taken elsewhere - because whether to engage with the activities or just rest is entirely up to us, the retreatants: we have a very relaxed and complete freedom. Walking pensively around the grounds of Launde, revelling in that freedom, I was unexpectedly struck by a notion of the sheer awfulness of slavery, the very antithesis of that freedom I was enjoying. Perhaps it was, .I had heard somewhere that two hundred and eighty years ago last Monday, William Wilberforce died and that 279 years ago last Thursday slavery was abolished in most of the British Empire of the time: I really don’t know

But against this history, it is startling to read that the International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimate there are today 20.9 million men, women and children across the world still in the thrall of slavery. What a scandal! It is yet another of those terrifying situations which leaves me feeling impotent, as does the appalling widening gap between the wealthy and the poor right here in the UK, right NOW.


Later, with more freedom and more time than I usually have, I was revisiting some things I wrote a little while back  - and this short poem called ‘Manacled’ chimed with my thoughts as you can see. It reflects another impotence in which I know myself to be implicated and as with those above, I know I can do little other than pray - for forgiveness and mighty change.

Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe

Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe
It is currently thought that the Universe has at least 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars! Hence the use of the word ‘scintilla’ for a mere ten thousand billion.

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)
Cross and Particle Accelerator. The words of 'A Prayer for Understanding' can be viewed by clicking on this image

Nebula (Embroidery)

Nebula (Embroidery)
Nebula (Embroidery) to accompany the poem 'Invitation' which can be found by clicking on the image.

Orange Galaxy

Orange Galaxy
'Orange Galaxy' posted to accompany 'Bounded and Boundless'. Go to the poem by clicking on the image.

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower
Cosmic Icon 7 - Summerflower Nebula (Acrylic)

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth
Cosmic Ikon 8: Moth Nebula(imagined-acrylic) The Gold field of deep space is intended to convey the Lordship of Christ over the whole of the Cosmos

Surprise garden rose (Photo)

Surprise garden rose (Photo)
This beautiful head of roses in our garden, which are giving off a delightful perfume in the morning sun, seems a fitting picture to link to the sonnet 'Evolution and Beauty'. Let the picture take you there. It is a surprise because it is growing high on a bush of otherwise pure yellow roses: amazing!

Cross and Vortex

Cross and Vortex
'Cross and Vortex' to accompany 'Stars and Planets Sing Your Glory'. Click on the image to go to the poem/hymn.

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)
Gaseous Cosmic Threads: Mixed media - acrylics and painted threads

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)
Warm Umbrian Hills: Click image to take you to the poem St Francis' Sky

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)
'Cosmic Labyrinth' - This icon is a symbol of the path through the near reaches of the Cosmos with its 'Havens' where current advances in science (2012/13) are celebrated. By clicking on the picture you will be taken to the latest version of the poem of the same name.

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)
Time, perhaps to consider a restorative break before the approach of Advent/ Christmas. Let this image take you to 'On Drawing Apart'.

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)
On the South shore of Iona is a bay which shows the industrial scarring of a beautiful place. Read of it by clicking on the picture

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)
Cross and simple prayer rope: make one like this to use as an aid to using ‘The Jesus Prayer'