Sunday, November 19, 2017

It was the wind


After Romans 8: 22-29

It was the wind I noticed
first, as it increased
from breeze before
it progressed to storm,
the wind carrying all
before it, sweeping away
what was to leave space
for what will be, its noise
a groaning in my ears,
a groaning so harsh it tears
at the heart of my soul,
stripping away the clay
so carefully constructed,
exposing the nakedness
to cleanse, to clothe,
to lift up.


Photograph by Jacob Ufkes via Unsplash. Used with permission.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Saturday Good Reads


At one time, executions of convicted criminals were considered good “object lessons” for the public, and so they were held (or staged) for the public to see. Spitalfields Life has an example of what that was like, in “The Executions of Old London.”

A good week for poetry: Oxford University has a digital archive of the poetry of World War I, while Giles Fraser at The Guardian has a column about the Welsh poet Hedd Wyn, who died in world War I. Marilyn Nelson at Image Journal has a poem about camp meetings.

Tim Challies reminds us that, despite the current fad (especially among Christians) of knocking everything about evangelicals, they are actually doing some good and fine work. Thomas Kidd has a warning about opinion polls, and how unreliable they are when it comes to the term “evangelical.” Michael Kelley at Forward Progress has another kind of reminder – the gospel does indeed elevate our souls, but it first brings us to our knees. And Jeanne Damoff has some pictures of grace and faith from an art and talent show.

And a lot more.

Poetry

Camp Meeting – Marilyn Nelson at Image Journal.

Hedd Wyn: the shepherd poet whose story shows the stupidity of war – Giles Fraser at The Guardian (Hat Tip: J of India).


Thomas Merton – D.S. Martin at Kingdom Poets.

British Stuff

The Executions of Old London – Spitalfields Life.

Faith

The Gift of Grace: The Young Life Capernaum Art and Talent Show – Jeanne Damoff at The View from Here.

The Gospel Cuts the Knees Before It Lifts the Soul – Michael Kelley at Forward Progress.

Remembering Father George – Caroline Langston at Image Journal.

The Level Playing Field – Martha Orlando at Meditations of My Heart.


Opinion Polls and the ‘Evangelical’ Illusion – Thomas Kidd at The Gospel Coalition.

Wretchedly Familiar: When Life Seems Unfair - Diana Trautwein at She Loves Magazine.

Life and Culture

Where Are You From? – Jeff Rakestraw at Random Thoughts.


Art and Photography

Churches of East St. Louis, Part 8 – Chris Naffziger at St. Louis Patina.

Layers of the Night – James BO Insogna at Striking Fine Art iGallery.

Rudbeckia triloba – Tim Good at National Geographic / Your Shot.

Writing and Literature



New Book: Love Letters to Writers by Andi Cumbo-Floyd – Lisa Deam at The Contemplative Writer.

“Crime and Punishment:” A Timeless Psychological Masterpeice – Daniel Ross Goodman at The Imaginative Conservative.



Edinburgh 1544 Townscape – Smart History



Painting: Girl Reading in a Sunlit Room, oil on canvas by Carl Vilhelm Holsoe (1863-1935).

Friday, November 17, 2017

Groans


After Romans 8:22-29

It comes deeply,
this groan, a tearing
of the soul, a pain
coming from the waiting
for the healing, promised.

The dove flies into the groaning,
itself groaning in words
inexpressible, simultaneously
deflecting, interceding, searching
a parallel responsibility

to prick, to stimulate, to strip
away even as the interceding
continues without ceasing,
continues with groans too deep
to comprehend.

We wait as the shaping
and molding continue,
creating a work forever
unfinished. The waiting,
too, is a work, if not
of art then certainly
a work designed to be
in progress, and we know
this is true because
we know in hope, a mother
awaiting the gestation,
a child awaiting the arrival
of its father, the hands
holding, the arms
enfolding, home,
here.

Photograph by Joe Gardner via Unsplash. Used with permission.