The Room

I was asked to give a talk on the value of creativity recently. I finished it with this poem.

May we all take up the room!

stars

THE ROOM

we stand here on the edge of a room

this room, our lives

we observe the players

moving across the floor

admire their skills

the grace with which they carry themselves

their confidence

 

but this room is our life

this one wild life we have been given

with such generosity

 

to stand in the world at this time

on this whenua

with these skills

with this voice that might ring out and make its story heard

 

are you hanging out at the edges?

convincing yourself to shrink so no-one will notice what you lack

allowing the brilliance of others to loom large

overshadowing your horizon

 

throw off the cloak of small surrender

and waddle like the toddler you know yourself to be

stand

in the centre of your life

and sing

or dance

or build your sandcastle

 

will you fall and fail?

or hit a wrong note

or find you can only create something imperfect?

 

yes, you will

 

you will be weaker than you’d like to be

disappointed in the gap

but you will be growing steadily into

skills that will one day inspire others

 

every child must crawl, or bum shuffle, or commando their own way to walking with confidence

so it is with us

 

if we are to be more than outputs measured by economic scales

if we are to tell the story we would like to tell

let us start today

with one small thing that brings us joy

 

apologising not

for taking up space in this life

 

may we hold life with wonder

do our thing with bravery

 

let us be curious,

let us be joyful,

let us be courageously creative in a world that invites us only to small perfections

 

let us take up space

let us own

the room

miriam jessie

x

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The Beatitudes

Heya,

This is a poem I wrote recently as I reflected on the Beatitudes as found in Matthew 4:23-5:12. I hope these words wrap you in encouragement wherever you are.

Miriam Jessie x

 

it is a strange invitation

divine and dusty

a call to be biggest

most invested

brightest

in the secret space

to pour silently, intentionally

into what will not be seen

 

when all the world is building followers

promoting best-sellers

building platforms – virtual & physical

 

a long-ago man sits

on a quiet hillside

no stadium, or microphone, or publishing deal

and tells his friends

the real secret to

blessing

joy

abundance

 

it sounds like downwardness

empty self

to be filled up – undeserved

 

it sounds like letting go

when inside and out chorus

“hold tight

no.1

self-promote”

 

it sounds like surrendering

glamour

gold

desire

 

embracing imperfect contentment

striving no more

standing open hand & heart

before persecution

& embracing an enemy with a knife in his hand

 

How can this appeal?

yet, on his lips

this man of dust and divine

I am considering it

excited even

at the prospect

of throwing it all away

the

important, image, ideology

& finding myself

 

home

fulfilled

content

 

in the company of the scarred

the overlooked

the locust-eaters

and perfume pourers

 

the depressed prophets

& righteous afflicted

the children

& the poor

 

What can they possibly offer someone like me?

 

I think perhaps

they are the shining stars

whose legacy

becomes my powhiri

 

“come, we have space for you too”

 

and a nail-scarred hand,

to match a body that did not grasp

deserved glory

enfolds mine

leads me gently

says to me

“come

 

here, amidst the mess & pain

& disappointment, & affliction

here is the

very throne room

here

is kingdom come.”

 

The Mother Heart of God

It can feel like a slippery fish to start using the term mother for ‘Abba’ God. Yet I am reminded today that the mother heart has its source in the same place as the father heart.

Our words are so limited.

Today I am reflecting on the joy and beauty of the mother’s love for us that exists. These are my reflections.

575ba-jn14embraceandhandsw

Anchor Me

The mother’s heart caterwauls loud within

My child

            notice

            see

            love

            include

 

Now I am a mother I can well appreciate

that ‘dreadful’ mother who approached Jesus

to petition for a place of honour for her sons

 

It is woven into the fabric of my life

this constant temptation

to promote

inflate

favour

 

the overwhelming desire, my constant companion,

for others to see

and notice

and love this child who keeps my wild heart in rhythm

 

What truly astounds me though is to think of you God

the mother heart that is from before beginning

            the mother heart from whom all other mother hearts were fashioned

the fierceness of that love

the depth of that knowing and noticing

the wildness of that advocacy

… now aimed at me, in all my splendid imperfection

 

To think I could be loved, as a daughter

by the very one

who longs to gather

whose name is comfort

who lives to intercede on my behalf

 

How well I know the very real need I have for intercession

yet,

just for a moment

 

Let me wiggle my toes deep

into the wet sand of being loved by you

so deep

I am anchored against the waves

so deep

that every sense knows

I am secure in an eternal mother’s love

 

though I may never comprehend its width

or plumb its depths

 

I am, in all my smallness

able to grasp its beauty, just a little

by knowing my own capacity

for mother’s love.

 

Blessings and love

x Miriam x

Resurrection Sunday

It is the day

for earthquakes that

remove stones that

contained the dead

 

It is the day

to hear the words

Why look for the living

among the dead?

 

The day when angels speak

and mortals quake in silence

shedding their mortality

unlocked and free

 

It is the day to hear your name

on the lips

of the

Resurrected Saviour

 

A day to be embraced

but not to cling

clinging is for the ones

who have something to lose

 

Today is the day

when what is poured out can no longer

be contained:

to time

to location

to a people group

to a gender

to an age

 

Today good news for all people breaks in and announces:

HE IS RISEN

rose stained glass

May your Easter Sunday be filled with joy that cannot be contained, life that knows no limits, the embrace of the One who died to set you free. Miriam x

Holy Week

These are my current musings as I journey Easter-ward.

May it bless you, may you find yourself accompanied on the way toward the narrative of difficulty, death, vigil and resurrection. May you have courage at every part of the journey to wait, to see, to understand and to continue on.

Bless you – wherever you are along the way.

Lords prayer forgiveness

This Week

This is a week to kneel in Gethsemane’s garden

to feel the gravel push hard into thin knee flesh

 

It is a week for letting go

for sweating blood and crying tears

fear

surrender

mercy

 

It is a week to show grace to friends who could not stay awake for us

A week for others to misunderstand the gravity of what we face

 

A week to acknowledge

the heart wants to run

the flesh is weak

the journey may be intensely lonely, despite the thronging crowds

 

It is a day to kneel as light turns to night

to feel the touch of cold hard wind on skin

to long to stay eternally in this moment because the way ahead is dark and dreadful

 

It is a night to remember the One who knelt for me

that I may remember I shall never kneel alone

there is no pit so deep his love is not deeper still*

no chasm so wide he will not cross to make a way for me to come

This is Gethsemane’s week

 *Corrie Ten Boom coined this phrase

 

Christmas Prayer

Hey Lovelies,

I spoke at our church Advent service on Sunday night and I closed with this prayer. May it be a prayer for you this season too.

May we each of us be carried with care and love through this season.

x

stars

God we stand at the edge of this season of wonder. All around us there are noisy carols playing, and family expectations, and things that demand our attention.

Jesus some of us feel as though we have been in the desert for a long time and we’re beginning to wonder if that star has made us a false promise. We’re tired, we’re disappointed, maybe we’re even angry and fearful. Remind us God that we are called to a stable not a palace. Remind us God that we are welcome however far we feel from you tonight.

Holy Spirit – would you breath on us tonight. Would you help us to lay down the burdens we have and hear your voice encouraging us in. For those of us who are stuck in the palace would you give us courage to leave and seek the real king.

In this moment God we hold someone we love before you who seems far away, maybe we even hold ourself as someone far away and we carry them in our heart with us to the stable.

God would you give us back a Christmas of wonder? Would you forgive us for forgetting and make our memories bright with all that you are.

God we give you permission to surprise us again. Help us receive you and love you this Christmas.

For you Jesus are our greatest gift.

 

The Table of Hope

This past week been I was asked to lead communion. During the week I decided I would write a poem… As I wrote I looked at this moving piece of art by Joey Velasco.

Writing is a re-emerging creative place for me, something that is shifting in its style and subject matter and I am trying to let it shift me, not to over-analyse or hold too tight a reign on it.

I share it here.

rose stained glass

Table of Hope

We come sometimes to the communion table, head bowed.

Ashamed.

 

Certain that every other saint in the room has lived a good life this week,

has spent time in prayer,

has behaved in holy ways.

 

We creep to the table like a starving, homeless child

Certain that we could not be welcomed

 

We come to the table aware of our own shortcomings,

Entirely unsure that we could have the courage to look Jesus in the eye as he says,

This is my body broken for you

This is my blood poured out for you

 

We are quite aware that our sin is vast

That we require rescuing

 

What we forget, is that the communion table beckons us to a wider table

A longer table

A table lavishly set for feasting.

 

This communion table is a table of Hope

An invitation

A portal into a life lived in lavish communion,

In wild feasting

With the one who made the table

 

Our saviour is a carpenter too –

Sometimes I think of him making chairs of every shape and size

And engraving our names,

my name

your name

on the back of one

 

The table we come to this morning is vast

It stretches out through space and time

Across geography

This eternal table

Invites us to a love that is impossibly wide

As is the love of God

 

A love we cannot measure

A love we cannot fathom

 

A love that directs us to a table of feasting

Where there is a chair with our name on it.

 

Let us come to this table reminded of the invitation extended to us all

To be loved with the

Vast

Wide

Never-ending

Love of Jesus.

 

Be blessed dear friends xxx