Landscape of Love 96: Well

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Here is our shortcut to the underswell, our drawing up of the sweet holy water, the bucket swaying seductively with its load of comely coolness. And the holy man wipes the sweat from his forehead and sits half shaded, so we cannot quite make out his face, as he asks for someone else to serve him. We sashay over, unabashed, until meeting those thirsty eyes makes an honest woman of us. And all of us fall at those feet, pour out our fragrance, weep on them, dry the sweet sinless flesh with our dusty hair, and run to fetch clean, pure water, that we both offer up and drink down, and which sets us free from all unholy desires. We no longer hold our chin up, but level, no longer sink into the sand in shame, but see our worth. We leave our brazen boldness behind and seek to be desired differently, stumbling in our haste to tell of this treasure, thirst slaked by meeting the Truth face to face.

 

© Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2016

Photo from Pixabay

 

Landscape of Love 95: Catacombs

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Cocooned in leaves, wrapped like fresh caught fish, woven into casings by the zig zag zipped silken spinnings of grace, here we curl up and die, and wait for new life. Here we lie and dream of spacious places where our feet will soon be set, whilst the world sees only a fresco of shallow caves, grave in their claustrophobic smallness. Inside, our wings form and we fly, my brothers, my sisters, we fly!

© Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2016

Photo from Pixabay

 

Landscape of Love 94: Shoreline

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Weary feet sinking into dark demerara sand, and the sweetness pushes up between my toes. Waves crashing and rolling unstoppably to kiss where my legs and ankles meet, soaking the joining places. Wind whispers stored in abundance in the emptiness of scattered hells, softly saying, “the sea, the sea,” remembering all the forgotten words of Iris and all the writers who have stood here before and listened. And you, dearest you, cross legged a little way back, cooking breakfast on the brazier, looking over to where I am. The smile that breaks into dawning across your face, lights up the sky, and catches the dull ache of my heart in your net, lifting it, like the seagull suddenly caught above us in a thermal of grace.

 

© Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2016

Photo from Pixabay

Some News, and a Spider in a Bucket.

Dear friends, my health is not good, my energy very limited. Blogging every day is too much for me, especially when I feel called to write so many books! So I am going to change the habit of a lifetime and be sensible. I shall still write here, but not so often, and with much more spontaneity than discipline.  There will still be some Veil of Tears or Landscape of Love pieces, but also other types of sharing. I hope you will find the variety refreshing and stick with me as I work on all the outpourings the Lord is so gracious as to give me.

My readers will be the first to hear about everything!

Blessings, Keren

Read on to encounter a spider in a bucket….

 

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In my back garden there is a spider in a bucket. She has been in there some weeks now, and she does not move, save for a few steps back and forth now and again to avoid rain, or to move round to a more sheltered side of her slippery home. I don’t know how she is staying stuck there living in the perpendicular, how she doesn’t fall down, or how she is still alive, since she does not appear to eat or drink.

She is staying still because she is wrapped tightly around a precious bundle. She holds under her thorax, a white parcel papoose, at least as big as her own body. It is an egg sac, where her young are swaddled, and are making ready to hatch and come forth into life, even as she, presumably, is waiting to die. I wonder if the young will eat her, as happens with some spidery beginnings. I could Google it, but I’d rather not know for sure. I wonder if she knows what will happen next. I wonder where her self-preservation went, and how a spider can lend itself so completely to the ways of its own nature that she doesn’t run from her responsibilities, but just sits.

And I wonder how like that spider I am, sitting here in bed, waiting for something, for anything good, to come forth from me. I am sat here with my belly full of wonder, of ideas and imaginings, of stories and theories and the love of God, and I ponder his word here and hold it all precious in my heart.

Will my words pour forth and turn on me and eat me up? Or will they thank me and run to spin their own webs, live their own lives, tell their own tales?

I do not know. But like my immobile arachnid friend, I will wait and see. Too tired now to run away, and in any case, how could I leave my bundle of beautiful word weavings unborn and never known? I must protect them, and they must be released. We sit and we wait.

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

 

Landscape of Love 93: Volcano

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No matter how wet the firewood, how damp the kindling, one word from the glowing prophet and water itself will catch alight around your holy altar! The Lord’s lava flowing from the places where the ground opens up under your unsandalled feet, the cracks ‘neath crucifixion’s fulcrum filling to the brim stone with sulphurous spewing holy raging song that cascades up hills and down dales making a mockery of the highs and lows we spend so much time measuring.

All this time we had the power streaming beneath us, and we did not know. And as the bones of Ba’al’s believers rattle in a bleached latticed path before us, we can walk over molten earth and not be burned, the scorched and scarred lands are not our destination, for we head towards waters of love, even as we have, ourselves, become flame.

© Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2016

Photo from Pixabay

Veil of Tears 109: Daunted

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Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” Judges 6:15 NIV

 

When God first hints at something he wants us to do, and we hear the command, or the whisper, or the suggestion, however it may come to us, there is first a feeling of exhilaration that the Lord wants us to do something for him, and quick as a flash on the heels of that joy comes the blinking into the bright light daunted-ness of, hang on, you want ME to do WHAT? And then comes the clammy hand of fear on our backs and our feet, light as air a minute ago, now feel like someone poured concrete over them, and we are stuck fast in the mire of doubt.

But God speaks the same words over and over to his people when they feel daunted or uncertain of the way forward. “Take heart,” “Be courageous,” “am I not sending you?” for the cure for feeling daunted is obedience in faith. As long as we understand who is doing the sending, we can go. As long as we know that it is God’s work and he is the doer of it, we can move forward.

Gideon had no hope of victory with his tiny army. And yet when he expressed doubt, God reduced it still further. He sharpened the tools Gideon had, and paid no attention to quantity, only quality. And Gideon had the sense to see that he was being used of God. When that is happening, we can be confident the outcome is entirely in God’s hands. The Living God loves using the poor, the weak, the helpless for his causes. He does it to show us that he is in charge. It doesn’t mean that the work is necessarily easy, or that we won’t falter somewhere along the way, but it does mean that we can be assured that we are weapons being wielded by a higher power, with no need to rely on our own strength.

In the Bible we see this over and over again with Joseph, David, Joshua, Rahab, Elijah and Elisha to name just a few. Like Moses before the burning bush, we may stammer and be full of excuses, but if we are truly called, we will be unstoppable. Not because of our greatness, capabilities or strength, but because, like the five small stones in the pouch of a shepherd boy-king, we are going to be fired by his mighty hand.

 

 

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

Photo from Pixabay

Veil of Tears 108: Wrestling

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So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.” Genesis 32:24 NIV

Wrestling was quite popular in the UK when I was small. Giant Haystacks and Big Daddy were what passed as celebrities back then, which really just meant they got to open supermarkets and appear on Tiswas. They seemed like gentle, wobbly giants to me, and whilst partly staged, the matches were not at all like the colourful over-the-top theatre that we now see in the WWF so popular in the States.

Wrestling with ourselves and with God often seems less dramatic than you might imagine as well. It can feel dark and lonely, those long nights where you are not sure if you are in a half Nelson with yourself or your maker. Where you are so tired, so worn out by the fight, that your aching spiritual muscles don’t know if they can take the stretched pain any more. And at the end, when day finally breaks, you may be left unsure if you have encountered God or not, unsure what his parting words may mean, and finding yourself with a lifelong limp for your troubles.

But to be sure, every genuine and determined seeker after the heart of God will experience such troubles. We will wrestle with our conscience, with our desires, with our ideas about who God is, and perhaps most of all with our egos.

And whilst we sit and lick our wounds, or nurse our confusion, or feel the dull ache in our thigh, we may find we too have come out of the other side of the night with a new name, a reconciliation on the horizon, and a new identity as an overcomer. Interestingly, it is our ability to overcome which is also the reason we are given new names by Jesus in Revelation.

Might our new names be fit for celebrity wrestlers, I wonder? But the ring in which we continue at times to struggle has no cameras, no bunting or fans, no glitter-spangled leotards (thank God), no energy for chutzpah. Instead it is endurance, sticking it out, holding on in the dark, keeping the faith, hoping against hope for our blessings when life has bodyslammed all the wind out of us, these are the ways to real victory, though the fight takes its toll and the dawn light may at first seem cold.

 

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

Photo from Pixabay

 

Veil of Tears 107: In the Dark

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So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” Daniel 6:16 NIV

At the time of writing, my heart is heavy because of several swords of Damocles that are hanging over myself and my loved ones. They are things that will decide our futures, where we live and how we live. If the sword falls one way, we might find freedom, another, and we’ll be trapped or hurt. Things aren’t exactly going to plan. My plan that is. And I think of Daniel, about to be thrown into the lions’ den, and though of course his peril was far greater than ours, I wonder if he thought along similar lines. “This wasn’t really how I imagined it would be, Lord, to follow you, to pray so fervently for your people, and care about their well-being, and end up preparing to be torn limb from limb.”

“Is this really your plan?!” We cry in out in our hearts. “Is this seriously the best you could come up with?”

And we think and feel like that because we can’t see what God can see. Because it does look back to front and topsy-turvy, and it really does hurt. And waiting for lions to devour us is pretty scary. But, suppose God is even greater than we imagine, and the lions are going to have their mouths shut by an angel he sends? And then our faith will be even stronger, and our blessings more obvious to count, and our gratitude deeper and set on wiser foundations.

So no, I can’t see in the dark whether there is an angel standing guard or not. I don’t know if those mouths are shut tight or bearing glistening sharp teeth at me, jowls slathering at the thought of tearing the flesh from my bones. No more do I know why the Lord keeps us in the dark so many times in our lives. But I do know that I can trust him, whatever happens. I do know that even when Nebuchadnezzar’s guards roll that stone across the mouth of the den, with me on the wrong side of it, that my God is the one who knows how to rescue me, and that he has a history of setting his hapless beloveds free, of calling them out of caves, of shutting the mouths of lions and opening the mouths of tombs.

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

Photo from Pixabay