Feeling for India

I’m struggling a little, I’ll say it, be blunt
About what’s happening in India, where they’re bearing the brunt
The weight of the suffering, we see it, we know
That they’re stuck, they can’t breathe, they’ve got nowhere to go
‘I can’t breathe’, now if you recall that’s a phrase
That we heard quite a lot, dating back to last May
George Floyd, Black Lives Matter, it was only last year
That nine minute video got us hooked – now we’re here
And I know that it’s different, but there’s something the same
It’s not about feeling bad, finding someone to blame
It’s about trying to connect with the pain of another
Imagining it, feeling it, for my sister, my brother
Cos we’re one global family, and if we’ve got heart and soul
Then if part of the body hurts, we feel it, the whole
So let’s not wait for one icon, one publicised case
When we see the pain etched on a suffering face
And let’s not forget we have Asian friends here
Let’s feel for their anguish, connect to their fear
You know, when it comes to relating to pain
That our God’s got it down – sends the sunshine and rain
On the good and the bad, and when a small sparrow falls
He notices and cares, and he doesn’t have walls
Between people or nations, more ‘worthy’ or less
In his eyes we’ve all got great worth, and I confess
That the change that I most want to notice and see
Is for us to follow his example – that’s you and that’s me

Image from REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Benediction prayer poem

Father God, you see and hold our past, our present, and our future.
We lay them now at your feet.

We bring to you our past… that bittersweet mix.
Memories to hold, though some leave us cold.
Of all we have tasted, nothing is wasted, 
The good, let us keep; the rest, let it sleep.
What didn’t go to plan, like tracks in the sand,
As tide fills the bay, may it be washed away.

We bring to you our present…
The psalmist longed to dwell where you dwell,
Father we do as well.
We bring you our brokenness, our pain, our fragility
Confess that our hope does not depend on our ability,
As secret spring sap starts to vivify the tree
May your Holy Spirit now fill and flow in me,
Our cold and damaged parts and those afflicted by life’s storms,
Like Narnian statues, be revived! – by Aslan’s breath that warms.

Father we bring to you our future… the way that lies ahead,
Each smooth or rocky road, every path that we may tread,
Like that ancient star of Bethlehem, your light before us gleams
The place of desert drought you make a place of streams,
In you we find our faintness fades, on wings like eagles we rise
Fresh fortified for joy – and trial – that now before us lies. 

For BBC Local Radio Sunday Service, 24th January 2021


Image by Himsan from Pixabay

Hand upon the Window

Your hand upon the window, and my hand mirrors yours,
In the midst of this year’s tragedy
This image gives us pause.

Your hand upon the window,
We saw but could not touch,
I’m not sure anything could quite prepare us all for such…

Such sadness and confusion,
The longing and the pain,
Fearful whether we could ever hug or touch again.

My strong desire to hold you
The rules would not allow,
Our bodies, such a precious gift
Are dangerous for now.

Hope is slowly taking shape,
The promise that next year
We can once more live and breathe
More freely, without fear.

Like distant glowing train lights,
A vaccine hope that then
We’ll once more have the chance to hold
Each other close again.

And so now, facing you
I to the window press my hand
And hope that of your pain I may
A small part understand.

And as that greater Love
In secret, close to us once drew
I pray you’ll know this love
Now drawing closer still to you.  

For BBC Radio Leeds & other stations.

Image by tatlin from Pixabay