Spirit groans and growing pain

I look down at the stars on my jumper

as I sigh

And I think of those Peruvian skies

Just northeast of Huánuco.

The entire sky was sprinkled with silver

Like molten metal dripping through a colander –

And yet you promised Abram that many children.

*

I run my fingers through my hair

as I try

to grasp that what I am reading is happening.

It grows back in patches where I’ve stress-pulled it,

kinking awkwardly beneath my curls –

And yet you know every strand.

*

I scale down my hopes and dreams

as I cry

at the million ways this world is dying and unkind

and really wonder how I’ll keep going

when the going is so bloody tough.

And yet you gave me my life and have kept me growing.

*

Emmanuel –

God the stranger who makes his home with us –

Help us keep on loving

and come quickly, Lord Jesus.

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Found in Translation/Wycliffe*’s Plea

For the artists, the liturgists and pioneers who keep the Good News fresh and don’t just parrot the wisdom: you will always be the true evangelists.

Lost for new words

We recycle the old ones

Not fathoming their subtle implications

As if their very antiquity suffices for intelligibility;

As if permanence were a virtue.

Well, not in linguistics

And that is hardly prophecy.

Sure, the well-worn is beautiful as poetry

But if lex orandi is lex credendi*

then new metaphors will come in handy

when translating the ancient

into postmodern.

After all, the Word became flesh and made his home among us

So we need to give Jesus the local lingo:

To keep translating him into our vernacular

and re-interpreting him with our lives.

_

*John Wycliffe (1320-1384) was an English priest who was an early translator of the Bible from the Latin Vulgate version into vernacular English, so that all English people could access the Scriptures in their own languages.

**Lex orandi, lex credendi (Latin loosely translated as “the law of praying [is] the law of believing”) is a motto which means that it is prayer which leads to belief, or that it is liturgy which leads to theology.