Bricks

Ephesians 1:3-6

“I thank God every time I remember you, In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with Joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”

I always struggled with the term “coming to faith”. In my case it seemed disingenuous. Faith in the Divine wasn’t this thing or place that I happened upon during the course of my life. On the contrary, Faith was at the centre of my life from a very young age. This, partly I think, can be attributed to the manner in which my parents and relatives expressed their faith. More poignant however, is the recognition within me of a knowledge of an ‘other’, the thing I now understand to be Love. It has been a constant hum in the background as life ebbed, whispering the songs of selfhood and identity throughout my childhood – in this I include the adult and adolescent years of curiosity and discovery. God was never far enough for me to have work hard to find him. He was, in fact, close – within me – working to grow my eyes and heart into maturity: the ability to see, hear, recognise, and respond to Him and His love.

I found however, after my awakening, that life had more hurdles to overcome. It seemed as though the world I had occupied did all it could to spit me out – people I valued greatly couldn’t stay intimate with me as a result of the new direction my heart was being tugged. It’s almost as though in surrendering my life to God, I gave up the world. I was forewarned about this by wiser Christians and had encountered the same in scriptures, this sense of carrying a cross, of hardship, of rejection by the world, but was unprepared for it. For all the encouraging words however, I still felt the sorrow of loss. This was compounded further by everyone talking about having received “peace, joy, Love” etcetera. I, meanwhile, was in pain: it hurt to be – or at least feel – alone. Only one thing kept me walking in this new direction toward the known unknown, a deep sense that it was the only way I could go.

Jesus spent 40 days in the desert after He was baptised. He then returned to where He had come from.

Retrospectively, the world I inhabit now is no different from the one I felt sorrow for leaving. In fact, the Church has the same broken people within it – me being one. The difference is this, that after time spent separating myself – or at least trying and failing to separate myself – to and for God, there is a solidity within. This isn’t my doing. He led me out of my house into a storm and asked me to stand and call out to people without shelter while he built a stronger house around me. The more the bricks went up, the less the wind blew. This house is still incomplete but I’m beginning to trust in the pace of the work and the workman.

Take heart, persevere. He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion…

Prayers at College Chapel

Boldly you ask, humbly we come.
In the shadow of a broken home: our world
Seeking your light,
lifting wounded hands for anointing balm
Will you pour it out,
Heal in the hearts,
Sit where sorrow shouts?

Lord in your mercy.

Boldly you ask, humbly we come.
In the shadow of a broken nation,
A broken family,
A limping body.
Grant that mercy flows,
That heads turn to you,
Ears hear your calling,
And feet follow.

Lord in your mercy

Boldly you ask, humbly we come.
In our hearts the burden of names,
Gather the scattered
You can -if willing – touch the infirm
These to your feet we carry.
In your power Lord

In your mercy.

Boldly you ask, humbly we come.
Even now, dry bones
Remember us, beneath your arms of love
Spread out upon the tree.
Make us new
For your praise and Glory Lord

In your mercy.

© Denis Adide 2013

Carried by Bread

The Valleys are darkened
So too the nearby hills
the light that the Lord placed upon the mountain
has faded through the years.
Years of accumulating dust:
Unquenched desires,
Open fires when none was needed.

As he approached, Jesus wept.
Three days had passed,
in the tomb his brother lay
Bound in cloth, left to decay.
The gate, like the stone rolled.
The cheers and palm leaves –
truly dirges, sung mid drowning tears.
Years of accumulating dust
Ashes to ashes of unquenched desires,
and open fires where none was needed.

The body, like the holy table,
was hid behind a veil.
The veins were dry,
the flesh feeble: unable,
the stone coearse
(Like freshly cut wood: unplanned)
Uncomfortable to shoulders,
Shoulders carrying bread,
(Carried by Bread)
Like a candle to the peak.

And the rays (wine) like blood
poured down the hill,
washing away the years:
Years of accumulating dust,
Unquenched desires,
putting out open fires: unneeded
Sending light into the valleys
where bones arose.

© Denis Adide 2014

A thought on a Psalm

Vindicate me, O LORD for I have led a blameless life,
I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and mind:
For your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth.
I do not sit with deceitful men, nor do I consort with hypocrites;
I abhor the assembly of evildoers and refuse to sit with the wicked.
I wash my hands in innocence, and go about your Altar, O LORD,
Proclaiming aloud your praise and telling of all your wonderful deeds.
I love the house where you live, O LORD, the place where your glory dwells.

Psalm 26:1-8

Denis 26:8 [between 9 &10 pm]

Will you vindicate me? I have not led a blameless life,
constantly I doubt your hand and presence in my life.
My faith wavers like a flag: steadfast in the wind
and baren in the still. I forget you till I need.
My inner heart does love you, but my hands resist;
opting rather to sing in dishonesty.
Though I avoid deceitful men, my tongue is just as adept
in my solitude I find a hypocrite.
I long to do great evils and admire the seats among the wicked.
My hands still stained, and the stench of dishonour upon me,
I dare to approach your Altar. Not in penitence,
but masking my guilt from my companions.
For fear of shame I bite my tongue, hiding praise for you
beneath my pride: sourced from the gifts you give me –
I, too quickly, forget your wonderful deeds.
If you don’t, with my guilt before me, who will?

2012.

Poetry 034: The seat

A poem about a blind poet

Seated, he heard the foreign sounds
Of passing cars, of children, of hounds,
Of planes sailing through the clouds
Of silent moments, and of crowds.
The wind through the leaves whistled
The bamboo heaved along with the thistles
Distant worlds in torrents neared
But window blinds blocked out the mounds

Seated, he thought to find the nouns
For subtle smiles, for tickles, for frowns
For faces floating from the downs,
through greens, through forests, and through towns.
Deep within old cinders glistened
He strained his heart so it would listen
And the world without in torrents neared
But window blinds blocked out the mounds

© Denis Adide 2011

Poetry 033: Live!

“Let us make man in our own image
and in our likeness form him.”

Perfected yet dead; still he lay
void, recent from the deep.
No thoughts emerged nor receded
None pleaded for victory, none defeated,
And none rebelled: He was balanced,
inanimate, formed but still,
alive but perfectly dead.

Then breath, hovering over the deep;
the same that churned him from the mound,
approached from steep heaven
and un-barrened sea to seep
Awakening earth from death to sleep.

Inhaling, he embraced life – the gift;
drifting into the breath that once crept
into the crypt – fleshy heart at the mercy
of fleshed earth – made first animate.

Before him he saw his naked arms,
with naked eyes saw naked feet,
felt naked air be drafted in
and blown on naked skin.
Untamed wind within,
unchained wind without,
both whispering “Live!”

© Denis Adide 2012