Miracle by Seamus Heaney

On the way to church a few weeks ago, I heard this poem read by the man himself in 2012 on Sunday Miscellany, a programme on RTE that I can remember from childhood. What a different perspective – not that of the paralytic, or the watching Pharisees, but this miracle told in honour of those who carried him to Jesus. For all of you caring for or carrying sick loved ones in prayer….

Not the one who takes up his bed and walks
But the ones who have known him all along
And carry him in –

Their shoulders numb, the ache and stoop deeplocked
In their backs, the stretcher handles
Slippery with sweat. And no let up

Until he’s strapped on tight, made tiltable
and raised to the tiled roof, then lowered for healing.
Be mindful of them as they stand and wait

For the burn of the paid out ropes to cool,
Their slight lightheadedness and incredulity
To pass, those who had known him all along.

A Song of Hope for Ruins

Crispins poem final 6

 I’ve been so moved by this photo – taken by friend Kyle Holland of the ruins of St. Crispin’s church in Greystones – that I started to meditate on several bible passages in the book of Isaiah to do with ruins.  What came out of it was a sense of His compassion for people in ruins,  which really touched me, hence the poem. His compassion changed my attitude, and has given me hope today to move into action……

It’s more a song than a poem really; I was singing away while writing (!) That’s why it’s called A song of hope for Ruins.  And I suppose it’s been written in the style of a prophecy from the Lord; that’s how it came to me initially, more as an act of creative worship.

Jesus was moved by compassion into action – that’s what I want for me too, amen.

PS. If you click on the picture, you can read the text much better. I can’t get it any bigger in the post (sigh!)

Here are those scriptures:

Isaiah 51:3

The Lord will surely comfort Zion
    and will look with compassion on all her ruins;
he will make her deserts like Eden,
    her wastelands like the garden of the Lord.
Joy and gladness will be found in her,
    thanksgiving and the sound of singing.

Isaiah 58:12

Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

Isaiah 61:4

They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations

And here’s the beautiful picture, without the poem!

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