To recount in simple terms
the unembellished truth
of the path I have walked down years;
to recall and describe the ways
You stopped me in my tracks
to redirect my steps,
relieve me of a burden
or heal a wound acquired along the way;
to speak of the times Your touch
restrained or drew me back
before my chosen route
led me to disaster;
to tell of how Your power
enabled me to do the things
far beyond my strength or inclination;
to remember with renewed wonder
Your provision for all my needs;
and then to see hearts open,
wounded souls receive hope,
saddened eyes light up
at the realisation of a Love
that only wants to give, heal, restore and bless,
to hear the shy, whispered confessions,
“Aunty I want to forgive the people
who did wrong things to me”
“Aunty I believe this story give me strength”
“Aunty I want to trust because
God will provide for me”
this makes it all worthwhile,
not just the journey of 4700 miles
to come and tell of Your deeds,
but all of it, the whole
of what You have led me through,
worth every tear, every doubt,
every moment of unexpected joy,
every puzzled misgiving
that dissolved into delighted realisation
that You knew what You were doing all along;
every second of it worthwhile
to see the One who has been
my Saviour, Guide and Friend through it all
adored and loved and worshipped
by young hearts renewed in hope.

Hebrews 12. 18-24

Was the Father who would run,
flinging dignity to the winds
to throw His arms around a returning prodigal
ever unapproachable?
Did He, somewhere between Malachi and Matthew,
undergo a Damascene conversion?
Did Jesus really come
to rescue us from an offended God?
Or could it be those arms
were always open wide, that heart
never had anything but love
and yearning and welcome and warmth
but we saw, between us and Him,
fire and darkness and gloom and whirlwind
until the very voice of love filled us
with fear and trembling?
Like the son rehearsing over and over
as his dogged yet tremulous steps carried him home,
“Make me one of your hired servants”,
did we assume He shared our pettiness
and so rehearse our expectation of rejection
until it metamorphosed in our minds
into the hostility of God?
Could it be that Jesus came
not to rescue us from the Father
but to show in living truth before our eyes,
when He becomes incarnate,
love takes on flesh and bone, not to hire servants,
but to whisper again as to Adam,
“You are still my beloved children”?