Holy Week

A couple of years ago I did the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius with my spiritual director. I found as I set out on the journey to the cross that I didn’t want to walk with Jesus to the cross. I just wanted to be there on Sunday. It is something in me that still needs changing – this ability to enter lament, to be present to pain. May we all have courage to allow ourselves to enter pain and to receive love even there.

Miriam x

IMG_3865

 

I don’t want to walk with you to the cross

don’t want to pass the jeering crowd

or be present to the lonely abyss of Gethsemane

 

I want to stand on Sunday’s horizon

and say

it’s okay Jesus

            look resurrection will come

 

So, like the crowd I condemn

and the disciples I judge

I abandon you

on your walk to the cross

 

I leave you alone

so alone

human man

acquainted with suffering and grief

 

I really just want

the resurrection power

the triumph of the lamb

the roar of the lion

 

so I climb up to my privileged position

and wait at the dawn of Sunday

ready to sing my alleluias

where a stone is rolled away

 

and as I abandon you

I acknowledge I have abandoned others

on their difficult journeys through

death’s valley

preferring to whisper hope

from resurrection’s empty tomb

 

instead of being empty accompaniment

into the cave

where death seems

to have the victory

 

I am afraid of accompanying you

and afraid of accompanying others

I am a broken disciple

 

would you hold this unfaithful

uncomfortable hand in yours

as I attempt not to run away

 

to hold the course for

Gethsemane

Golgotha

and

tomb

 

for as long as my small strength holds on

With Ancient Women

I find myself, these days, unexpectedly in conversations with ancient women I never met.

Screen Shot 2019-10-22 at 12.36.44 PM

I’m about to stand up and speak about Leah, the one Jacob didn’t want, and I stop and have a whispered conversation with her.

Not exactly to her or with her. But I hold her in my heart – hoping I will do her justice, this ancient grandmother of my Messiah.

I’m stitching thousands of words at the moment and they all belong to women. It’s a big project and it will take me a long, long time but it’s transforming me too.

Right now, it’s reminding me things like, the first person to name God is a slave woman. Isn’t that so beautiful? In the light of sexism and racism and all the awful things that people say about the rejected and the downtrodden, God, of all the universe, allows Godself to be named by a woman, a slave, sent out into the desert to watch her baby die.

Wherever your heart is at today. However you are struggling or rejected or looking at the tsunami of insurmountable opposition remember the One who has always held out hands, and noticed and listened and allowed the outsider to speak aloud the sacred name.

courage dear heart, courage

Miriam Jessie x