remembering the blessing

It begins in Genesis with a bit of a run to Exodus

You wanna see some of the laws in Leviticus

And the way the camp gets sorted in Numbers – divine!

Deuteronomy leads into Joshua, great guy, made mistakes

But those Judges what could I say, so bad

And then when you think what a terrible human race

We get to meet Boaz, Naomi and Ruth – what a girl.

 

The one twos come next. Samuel, Kings and Chronicles

Amazing stories of bold kings and prophets as you do.

Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther tell their stories next

Which leads up to the guy with the mostest who loses it all

Job

Epic songs and poems with Psalms and wisdom

Oh so very, very wise.

Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs

Followed by some goodies

Isaiah and Jeremiah

 

Stand up those who love a good lament!

Cos Lamentations is next with Ezekiel bringing clouds.

Daniel, those dreams – wow man! What were you on!

But seriously thank you, the imagery is the bomb

Hosea, you gotta do what he says and

You held your head high as you showed us – all means all

Joel, not Billy tells us loads of restoration and blessings

Amos, not Brierley and Obadiah plumb lines and warnings

Jonah – don’t we all be a bit like Jonah running away

The social justice of Micah and the short Nahum

Who would want to live in Ninevah with his vision

Bring us to the H – Z’s

Habbakuk, Zephaniah, Haggai and Zechariah

With Malachi bringing up the rear with tales of judgement,

To restore His people and to bless them all day long.

Love is …

 

Never did I think one could love me as he does.

Never did I feel worthy,

Never in my worldly world;

This love that changes everything

 

I had heard of this guy, a good one, you know.

I sprinkled salt on the stories to see if they held true,

I went along to listen to man and woman expound

His words as if they were true

 

I sat in the corner and spoke not one word,

My smile etched in pain on my face

deterred all onlookers from coming near

Year on year I sat silently with the good folk

 

Tragedies came and went but they still went on

And on and on

About the good guy who loved them

And they sang loud and waved arms around

 

The guy never changed, he remained the same

He good, he love, he mercy, he grace

Yeah, I thought, from my quietness

That all very nice for the nice folk

 

But then one day my heart was strangely warmed

Lightning struck and shards of bitterness flew

Off my chest like bullets from an automatic Uzi

My shoulders forever bent began to straighten

 

Many times we had sung my chains fell off

For me, without knowing what that meant

But now the bondage marks began to fade

I clawed to hold onto old and new

 

I couldn’t…

I wouldn’t…

I couldn’t…

Believe

He loved me.

 

Me, who had done more in his enemy’s name,

Than most on the planet

Me, the unwanted, un-needed, unloved one

He, loved me?

 

It took time; weeks and months went by

I followed him; I heard what was said

With new ears and a newer heart

But years of self-sufficiency were hard to shift.

 

What did he know of me, and my life?

Revelation day, the day I truly believed

The day I heard he loved me full stop. Period. Dead stop. Screeching halt.

I fell to my knees in awestruck wonder

 

If he could love one such as I

Then surely I could love it too

I saw the light, received my sight

And I will bless his name forever

 

No more angst, no more fear

Because I am loved by the almighty one

The alpha and omega has adopted me

How cool is that! How freakin’ awesome

 

I am no longer the me I used to be

It is no longer me that lives

But Jesus Christ lives in me

And through him I love and am loved

 

Theories come and go,

Expressions are in fashion for a time

But the timeless one does not change

His language is the same as when it all began

 

His love came down, expressed in human form

His body died on the cross at Calvary

But as the women cried – “He is risen”

I proclaim with women throughout the age

 

Our Lord, our King is risen indeed

And he will come once more

And there will be no more sorrow

Only love, only love, only love will remain.

 

I can…

I will…

I can…

Believe, have faith, trust in –

HE LOVES ME indeed.

tentgirl & jake

She sleeps in a tent, in the woods at the edge of town. In the day she flits into town and dances along the cobbled streets. She sings outside the Market Tavern and eats a feast from the bins of others.

One night she awoke in the middle of a storm, she danced through the trees and sang at the lightening with a thunderous applause. The rain filled her mind, heart and lungs. She cried out as deep cries out to deep.

She sleeps in a tent, in the woods at the edge of town. In the day she hobbles into town and dances along the cobbled streets. She coughs outside the Market Tavern and can only imagine eating solid food once more.

One evening when hobbling home, she met Jake McFadden, he took her home, to his warm couch by the hearth. She coughed through the night and all the way through the next day. As the sun went down Jake fed her teaspoons of chicken broth as she spluttered and coughed.

Jake cared for her tenderly, with gentleness and care. A gentleman in every way. But the town did not know this and circulated news that would be happiest left in the gutter. As she gained strength, Jake’s reputation demised. One day she was better and gathered her things to take back to her tent in the woods.

The townsfolk spat in her path and some didn’t stop at the path. She didn’t understand, she was well but they treated her like a leper. The bins, once full, were now putrid and rancid. She stopped flitting into town.

Summer came and she danced around the trees, singing with the joy only freedom can bring. The ruined Jake saw her and fell in love at the sight of the girl who sang to the wind. He fell in love and broken hearted turned away, the townsfolk would bring up the whole saga of the sick girl

Jake went to the chapel on the main street in town, after the pastor had said his last word, Jake rose.

“People of this town, you have sullied my name and I turned the other cheek. You stopped coming to my business and I turned the other cheek. I will not defend myself against your gossip. You who come into this sanctuary beware, for your minds and mouths are as foul as the trash you put in your bins. You forget that we are all sinners. You forget the one who saved us. I am leaving here, I am leaving tent girl here. I don’t know her name. She doesn’t speak. She only sings. Open your hearts to her, open your homes to her and others like her. God bless them and God bless you.”

He did not wait for rebuttals or defences. He left and gathered up his possessions, leaving on the late bus to somewhere. Jake can be found sleeping in a tent, somewhere. He walks into town and talks to the people about a city not yet seen and a kingdom that is open to all.

Judges today

We are civilised in the West

In Ireland   here

We look back at the Judges

In horror   in shock

That would not happen

In good old Ireland

We have gun toting eight year olds

Terrifying estates

We have girls joining gangs

Going through initiation

The author of Judges

Would orate in detail

What that involves

I ain’t doing that

We are civilised in the West

In Ireland   here

We don’t decapitate our religious opposition

We don’t FGM our girleens

That would not happen

In good old Ireland

A paedo forced to drink peppered p**s

A woman forced due to medical interference

To abort her unborn loved child

An old lady sits in a rocking chair

In a rat infested damp hole of a flat

We are so civilised in the West

In Ireland   here

Aren’t we just?

But

If any of those people

Aforementioned above

Were to sit at the Cross and confess

Then our gracious Lord would forgive them thus

Because no matter what horror is in the world today

No matter what horror lay before

He, the innocent Prince of Peace lay down

His life on the Cross

The torrent of His blood washes over each

In a flood of forgiveness and redeeming grace.

We can be changed in the West, anywhere

Here in Ireland we can be changed

Transformed by the pure one

The only one fit to judge

We can be changed in the West, anywhere

Here in Ireland we can be changed

What else would you do on a train?

He reached for the soap, wincing as it slipped out of his hand, automatically stretching further but his ribcage was fit to burst at even this small movement. He rubbed the spot gently, wondering as he showered if it was bruised or broken, cracked or shattered. Each small stroke brought new sensations of pain. What was he going to do? It had finally happened, the connection of foot on bone, he had been waiting for it forever. But now that it had, he was confused as to his next move.

There were mitigating circumstances, there always were. He remembered his own occasions of volatile temper raging through him, the only release would be the explosion in his knuckles as he punched something or someone. The time Gerry Downing had teased him about his hair colour in the pub, the surprised expression that hung on his face as he was launched over the bar. Yes he could remember each and every time.

But he had never hit her. They had been going out for over a year now and he had been sure to keep his temper in check. The guys in the bar were always riling him but he began to count to ten, if she were with him, some of them had copped to this and upped their game whenever she was with him. They and he knew, this was the one. The keeper. He just had to keep his cool long enough to get the ring on her finger and then it didn’t matter. He was a cop, he knew domestics were never investigated and maybe, just maybe she would behave herself all the time and there’d be no need to teach her right from wrong.

Last night, in the bar, the guys had just gone over the top. Mocking his clothes, his hair and when they started in on his after shave. Billy Mac, did a pirouette and said in the campest of voices, “lovely cologne, what is that a hint of lilies or lavender?”

He jumped up, strode over to Billy and was about to grab his neck when…

She called his name and he turned. She was slightly squatting, almost a split squat and all in a second was up delivering a front kick to his breast bone and then into a power side kick, from the left. That’s what threw him. Her front kick had been on her left leg with the right outstretched reaching his body. But how did she get that on the floor before beginning the side kick, and when he thought of the power behind it, he winced.

She walked out of the bar, head held high, legs like a gazelle. At the door, she turned, bowed to the ensemble and on rising, raised one arm in the air in a fist and shouted, “for Michelle, you gutless wonder.”

The men gathered around him, it was unfair they said, one said, they were only ribbing. This caused a wave of giggles, but they knew the score. It was only banter and the physicality of it all, just lads having a laugh, blowing off a bit of steam. But Michelle.

Michelle Grainger had lived in the village her entire life, never leaving it for the bigger towns like most of them. She drank in the bar and worked in the shop, her life was simple and her dream was to settle down with her handsome boyfriend, the policeman from town, who came every Tuesday to air the old Garda station and give out the odd ticket for busted back lights. Garda Brennan, AJ to his mates, loved the attention from this yokel girl and spun her a line for a year or two but he had a fiance in town and was not going to be shackelled to Michelle no matter what. The what happened though and she arrived at the station one Tuesday morning to meet him and give him the good news, she was expecting.

She did not get the conversation she wanted as he suggested it wasn’t his and called her names. She didn’t understand, everyone she met that day she told her story, and it didin’t make it right. Meanwhile AJ had contacted his mate on the force, asking his advice. His friend had said, don’t worry, he’d sort it out for him. There was a young hoon, Backers Mackie, he was on the edge of everything and about to move into a bigger league. He needed taking down but it was proving impossible to tie him to anything. Now, he was in Mountjoy on remand, being tried with Michelle Grainger’s murder, he had no alibi, his prints were found at the scene. The village, scared witless by the thought of a murder on their doorstep were all to eager to place Backers in the area on the night in question. Garda Brennan was an absolute rock of support to the family and neighbours. He talked about the shock of her news two days before but how he had bought a ring and was going to propose at the weekend. He was as white as flour throughout the whole affair. He explained to his fiance how this local girl had been stalking him and thought he was her boyfriend telling the whole village. She was so understanding, they waited a year to get married just to allow Michelle’s family some peace. They were invited to the wedding but it was still, for them, too soon but they wished the couple all the best. AJ had moved across country, doing something in vice in the city.

He actually hadn’t meant to kill Michelle, just talk to her, bundle some money at her and get her on a boat to England, but she was so adamant. She wanted the white dress and the marquee, she had even planned the music for the first dance. She was either obsessed or had little to occupy her mind.

He was still in the shower, letting the water cascade over his rib cage, in all his years of thumping and kicking people, no one had ever landed one on him. He thought back to last night. How he had crumpled in agony. This couldn’t go on, his rages were getting more ferocious, he was under investigation at work, things were beginning to unravel and now this. Michelle, that had been two years ago, Backers was locked up, albeit he hadn’t been to trial yet. There were pre trial hearings with the barristers and a growing swell of people wondering why he was claiming to be innocent. Backers had begun to help the Gardai with their enquiries into a number of unsolved cases around the area and was admitting to the dealing and GBH of more than a few people in town. So why wouldn’t he cop to the murder.

He looked in the mirror, “Thomas James Cronin, it is all getting a bit messy,” as he said this to himself he smirked. Understatement of the century. He winced again as took a deep breath. His phone beeped. The message read, “Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief. Psalm 143. This might be your answer, mate”

It had been sent anonymously. On his way to work, a guy tried to give him a leaflet as he said, “Repent, the end is near.” At break time, a few of the younger guards were reciting poetry at each other, trying to remember the words from their leaving. They were on the cusp of their thirties and realising their youth was gone, were reminiscing about school and the dreaded exams. Julie Tolley raised her voice in the hushed canteen,

“I have lived in important places, times
When great events were decided, who owned
That half a rood of rock, a no-man’s land
Surrounded by our pitchfork-armed claims.
I heard the Duffys shouting “Damn your soul!”
And old McCabe stripped to the waist, seen
Step the plot defying blue cast-steel –
“Here is the march along these iron stones.”
That was the year of the Munich bother. Which
Was more important? I inclined
To lose my faith in Ballyrush and Gortin
Till Homer’s ghost came whispering to my mind.
He said: I made the Iliad from such
A local row. Gods make their own importance.

Kavanagh”

The whole canteen burst into applause, none of the others had quoted an entire poem, just a line here and there.

“Way to go, Jules.”

“Good one, Trolley Girl.”

Nicknames were common, some stuck. His was “Moanin’ Cronin,” he didn’t care one way or the other. Poems in the station was a good distraction from his mind in turmoil. He looked up and saw the Inspector enter.

“Sir, I would like to meet with you today, if possible, I mean if you are not busy. I mean I know you’re busy but can you fit me in, sir?”

“Sergeant Cronin, I can see you tomorrow at nine am, I have things to do today.”

“Yes sir, thank you sir. Right nine o’clock tomorrow. Sir.”

He walked to river after work, he looked into the water, looking for answers, he only saw his reflection. It’s down to me then, to do what is right. He smarted at the pain as he walked slowly home. He got over another hurdle, he hadn’t jumped off the bridge as so many other tortured souls had. The bookshop was still open, it wasn’t a place he would normally be found.

“Hello Sergeant, how may I help you today?”

“I got a message this morning and I want to look it up, do you have a, a, a Bible?”

“Yes of course, which translation?”

“I dunno.”

“Modern?”

“I guess so.”

“Try this.”

The woman thrust a book in his hand.

“The Message?”

“It’s popular with the young ones and er, um, people not used to opening a bible. What is the passage?”

“Psalm,” he pronounced it p-salm

She smiled warmly, took the Bible back and turned to Psalms. “There are 150 psalms, do you have the chapter?”

“Oh yes, sure, let me look,” he took out his phone, “1 4 3.”

“Here, you read away, no rush.”

“Thank you,” and he sat on the chair and read:

 Listen to this prayer of mine, God;
pay attention to what I’m asking.
Answer me—you’re famous for your answers!
Do what’s right for me.
But don’t, please don’t, haul me into court;
not a person alive would be acquitted there.

The enemy hunted me down;
he kicked me and stomped me within an inch of my life.
He put me in a black hole,
buried me like a corpse in that dungeon.
I sat there in despair, my spirit draining away,
my heart heavy, like lead.
I remembered the old days,
went over all you’ve done, pondered the ways you’ve worked,
Stretched out my hands to you,
as thirsty for you as a desert thirsty for rain.

Hurry with your answer, God!
I’m nearly at the end of my rope.
Don’t turn away; don’t ignore me!
That would be certain death.
If you wake me each morning with the sound of your loving voice,
I’ll go to sleep each night trusting in you.
Point out the road I must travel;
I’m all ears, all eyes before you.
Save me from my enemies, God—
you’re my only hope!
Teach me how to live to please you,
because you’re my God.
Lead me by your blessed Spirit
into cleared and level pastureland.

Keep up your reputation, God—give me life!
In your justice, get me out of this trouble!
In your great love, vanquish my enemies;
make a clean sweep of those who harass me.
And why? Because I’m your servant.

His eyes were damp as he finished. “I will take it.”

“Okay, that will be twenty five euros, Sergeant. Say do you need to talk to someone. I mean I don’t want to pry, but you seem different today.”

“Do I know you?”

“We went to the Tec together, years ago now. But you seem beat today, I hope you don’t mind me saying. It’s just you have always commanded the space you were in. But now, well you seem to have shrunk, ever so slightly.”

“Stress, I guess. Oh sorry,” he smiled, “they were quoting Kavanagh at work today maybe it is rubbing off.”

“Ha, ha, Kavanagh never rhymed. Seriously TJ, I know a guy, he is a good guy and he is strictly confidential. He could meet you tonight?” She left it as a question in the air as he got out money to pay for it.

“Where?”

“Just round the corner, in the wee chapel, he’s a minister, well a lay minister, but he is a good listener and he’ll be there now. He cleans the kitchen on a Tuesday night.”

He walked around the corner and through the open door. He saw the guy drying dishes at the sink. “Hello,” he called, “I think I am in trouble. Can you help? …”