Friday, 31 October 2008

Churchy hedges, Godly walking gear

Senior staff residential meeting at Douai Abbey. In the evening, having cracked open a bottle, we each brought a poem to share. Rosemary Pearce, diocesan secretary, brought one by Nicola Slee. It’s worth reading in an age of structural reconfiguration (GAFCON etc), boundary issues over who does what, and, above all, to counter temptation to take ourselves too seriously, in the wrong way. The grace, or lack of it, is in how we do what we do, not what we do in itself...

Ecclesiastical hedges

Planted in neat, straight lines,

designed to keep divinity in
or the world at bay?

Who can say?

They are thick and intricately tangled,

exquisitely manicured
by God's officials
who have had long training

in the finer arts of hedging.

Snipping this way and that,

they mould the bushy green growth
into ever more ingenious designs:

flying fish, glamorous dragons,

motherly pelicans, tender lions,

meek lambs and impressive eagles.

So engrossed are they

in their tending of theological topiary,

they fail to notice
popping out in her walking gear

and slipping out the back garden gate,

heading for the hills,

quietly whistling.


Graham said...

I love this! Thanks

Peter O said...

Pardon me for being a bit snippy, but when God popped out in *her* walking gear, did she stop off on the way to pick up some raisin cakes?

jonbirch said...

profound and simple little poem. understand the author's sentiments completely... sadly.

FrDarryl said...

There were plenty of raisin cakes where *she* was headed. Lots of sweet red wine, milk and honey as well.

Hosea 3:1, And the LORD said to me,"Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins."

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