The Beatitudes


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


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





it sounds like downwardness

empty self

to be filled up – undeserved


it sounds like letting go

when inside and out chorus

“hold tight




it sounds like surrendering





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


important, image, ideology

& finding myself






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



here, amidst the mess & pain

& disappointment, & affliction

here is the

very throne room


is kingdom come.”



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:


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





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.



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.


When the Echoes Tumble

I sometimes feel ripped off by echoes… they don’t seem to come back again as much as they flitter away, jumping onto the edges of far away walls and whirling in caves I cannot see.

… and I can feel the same with prayer….

I call into a still and cavernous place, only to hear the end of my words trailing off like tumbling pebbles

maybe it’s because I have it all wrong

I stand on the top of a precipice and call upwards and outwards…. like my height and volume might make a difference.

I throw my words high expecting to find some orderly response.

Is prayer worth more according to the volume and location of the delivery?

…I know the answer to this one, a story of a man who prays aloud in public places and another who bows his head and sends up whispered confessions.

Yet, I continue to search for a different key to unlock a different gate. I want to hear an orderly and audible response to my prayers – so I lay them out neatly and with some kind of religious rhythm – thinking perhaps this is the way to twist the arm of God into responding in the way I want.

I forget that Jesus wasn’t a man for typed up prayer requests and special systems. Jesus was the one who found a quiet, non-echo-y place to listen for the Father’s will.

…. and when his dearest ones asked for a special, guaranteed-the-right-way, sure-to-get-a-response prayer he gave them a pattern…

to acknowledge awe and intimacy
to submit the will and realign the values of our lives
to ask for things we need
and acknowledge the greatest of our needs – forgiveness for our selves and grace towards others
to ask for all the help we can get as the flesh-war wages and the heavenly war goes on
to stop and to acknowledge our heritage, Lordship, source of power and the one deserving of all glory
to rest safe in the arms of the One who has already won the victory forever

maybe, I need to rewrite those famous words, and make them my own intimate words, maybe I need to stop sending the words up and out and let the words echo around the insecure places of my heart

I need to hold them sacred as I learn to rest not on the words but on the One who listens,
I need to bow my head and whisper my own prayer, following His pattern,

papa, king
whose will I trust, 
even when I do not know it, 
give me courage to submit to you 
and to desire your will above all things
look at my tangled bowl of worries, 
both real and imagined,
 and provide the things and peace I need,
see here the sin that rules me, the selfish, prideful, wretchedness I hide from others 
– see me and forgive me
hold this sin like a mirror I must acknowledge when I feel the injustice of others 
– remind me the depth of my transgression 
and give me the fullest measure I can handle of your grace for others
hide me from the evil that would be done to me
 and the evil I would do
remind me no one can snatch me from your hand – let that be the place I want to rest
all of it is yours
you hold the keys and final deeds to all of it
I am set to inherit what can never be taken, broken, compromised
because of you
because of you
because of you
all glorious and worthy one
papa, king

Today I need to find the sacred space, the small and empty quiet space. Today I need help to wander away from expectations about the prayers I pray and rest in the One to whom my whole being wishes to commune with.
Maybe in that space I will find answers I wasn’t seeking for questions I needed to ask.
When your prayers are echoing pebbles tumbling down a great raven what is your pattern?