Tag Archives: love

Lent 23

Petticoat Sea from PFA Linda Bolser Gilmore KDW small

Hearing the sea can happen at any moment. It is always crashing onto the beach of life, onto those tidal places where the edge-dwellers and turtles comb the shore. If you listen to your own breath, and the name it speaks, you will hear it, rising and falling, the waves passing in and then out, the ebb and flow of holy water.

Art and text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2018 Artwork inspired by a reference photo by Linda Bolser Gilmore with kind permission.


Lent 20


The trembling gives you away, so that we know you are cold and frightened, full of dread and longing for the warmth of an open fire, or open arms. Let the tender heart of God then enfold you and still those shakes. Let grace wrap around you like a home woven blanket, and sit you on her lap with a warm cup of cocoa, telling you the story of how you began as a seed of starlight, and were lullabied across a universe of love to become yourself.

Photo and text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2018

Lent 17

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Stand on the crest of the hill, on the top of the wave, and sing into the snow. Let it take your song and fly with it, onwards and off into the storm, forming a blizzard of love. For if the world were to be embraced by such a sound, would it not lay down its arms and grievances, and weep itself  to its knees?

Art and text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2018

(artwork done from a photo for educational purposes only)


97. Cowardice (Empathy, Lent 38)

cowardly lion

Today is the day everyone except the women fled from Jesus. Today is the day that he was kissed by a dear friend in betrayal. Today is the day to admit to cowardice, because the best of the best are capable of it. And so, I turn to my own cowardice, which has many facets, and look on it with compassion. I am terrified of getting it wrong and of public speaking, and of great white sharks (and small white sharks, if I’m honest) and yet all that fear does is stand in the way of things.

Yet, fear is a perfectly natural thing to feel. Standing up in front of lots of people, all waiting for you to say something, is terrifying to someone like me who hates being the centre of attention. So, I’m guessing fear and cowardice are not the same thing. What then, is my cowardice, the thing that makes me flee from what I should be doing? The obstacle that turns my stomach to water for selfish, no-good reasons? That would more likely be the voice that says, “Don’t do that for them, they wouldn’t do it for you” or “If you listen to them today they’ll always expect it,” or “If you say that thing you know is true, they will all think you a fool.” So, maybe it makes sense to run (or swim) away from some things, even if it is to save the fight for a better day, as we could argue the male disciples did, but when we are running from the best of ourselves, or the truth, especially God’s truth, or from something that we know is the right thing but will cost us, that is real cowardice. It is hard to have compassion on that, but perhaps we are better off acknowledging our faults and weaknesses, and asking God into them, rather than berating ourselves or blaming and shaming ourselves for our failures.

Perhaps the real price of cowardice is paid when we refuse to look at the unseemly parts of ourselves, so that change cannot happen. Only when we can be compassionate with our own shadows can we be truly merciful with the perceived faults of others.

text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017 photo from memecrunch.com


88. Hippie (Empathy, Lent 29)

88 hippy

I’m rather a hippie myself up to point. I am a socialist, a pacifist and I feel a strong connection with nature. As a Christian, love is my watchword. But I am also fairly pragmatic, and try to follow a moral code which involves being faithful to my partner, and not taking drugs. So my kind of free love is a little different. But like many stereotypes, the hippy is so much more than the obvious things that spring to mind.

I truly want to be one with the earth and the trees. I express that in my paganism and my tree-hugging, my protesting against roads and my love of greenery of all kinds. Yes, I tie die my own tee shirts made from organic cotton. You may laugh at how well I fit the hippy mould, but for me it is a no brainer. Marijuana relaxes me and my friends, it is better than being uptight and obsessed with property markets and dress codes. Really for me, being a hippy is about community, and it is about wanting world peace. And that both these things start right where we are. That’s a better beginning than in a lot of churches I’ve seen.

text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017


31. Wedding Roses (hope)


These are some of the wooden roses we had as table decorations for our wedding. They were cheap and cheerful, as everything had to be, and they remind me that there is hope for romance even for a sickly divorcée in her late 30s (as I was then!).

Lots of my life dreams have not come about, but I was married in the Norman church I always dreamed I would be, to a man who is kind, intelligent, loving and funny. We have had an extremely tough time of it so far, but I hold onto the hope, when I look at them, that good things can still happen, even when you have stop believing they will.

Photo and text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017




Where her padded foot fell, gentle thudding, love returned home to sleep on a worn, bobbled blanket, familiar and comfy. A plucking of the roost and a furry engine purring in its black and white present loveliness.


Photo and text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017



Landscape of Love 91: Grotto

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Pale blue lady, aqua mantled, kindness gazing out from your alabaster face, carved deep into the rock and our hurting souls. You smile, and the world is changed. Adoring the love on your dappled skin, ripples of reflected grace, the water feels less cold somehow, though we are up to our necks; and the tide is of no concern, merely the sea breathing: in and out, in and out. A caverned womb of healing, where we might be knit together once more, and our stretched sinews feel the call to entwine and relax. We go under and rise again, replenished by the carrier of living water.

© Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2016

Photo from Pixabay



Veil of Tears 105: Unwashed

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The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus 2and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed.” Mark 7:1 NIV

There is an apocryphal story that surfaces on social media every so often of a pastor, newly appointed to a church, and largely unknown there, who turns up at a service a week before his induction disguised as a tramp. He is covered in ragged clothing and he smells. Though one or two people are kind, he is given a wide berth, snubbed and generally made to feel unwelcome, before being asked to leave. The following week he comes in as the new church leader and tells the congregation what he did to shame them into seeing the unwashed with new eyes.

I doubt the story is true, and I’m not sure that shaming is a particularly kind teaching method, but the fact that this could be true, ought to get everyone thinking who participates in any kind of community that professes to have Christ at its centre.

I don’t believe there is any record of Jesus ever being disgusted by anyone’s outer appearance, gender, race or hygiene. The only thing that seemed to revolt him was the stink of self-righteousness that he found most strongly radiating from the religious people of the day, from the Pharisees in particular. He spent time with tavern keepers, lepers, prostitutes, homeless people, disabled people, loose women, the deranged and the possessed. In short, with all those the “good” people deemed unclean and would not associate with.

He hung around with them, befriended them, taught them, healed them and forgave them when it was necessary. He and his crowd of travelling followers, often dusty and sweaty in the Middle East heat, were no doubt a bit wild and unkempt like the prophets of old, like John the Baptist who heralded Jesus’ arrival clothed in camel’s hair and with bits of honeyed locust in his beard. They were social pariahs, not the goody-two-shoes keeping-their-noses-clean puritanical religious elite.

You know what else? I don’t think Jesus’ robe was white that often. I think he probably needed (by our western modern running water standards) more trips to the river (bath/laundrette) and that he and twelve other blokes walking miles across the whole of Judea, with or without the hundreds of other followers of this strange parochial Rabbi, probably sweated and whiffed a bit on occasion. I think some of them probably swore now and again. I think that they were human and I like that idea.

I also think that if we get caught up in constantly cleaning ourselves on the outside and worrying incessantly about whether we are in a state of grace nor not, that we will spend too much time washing and confessing and not enough time relating and laughing with, learning from, adoring and pondering God. Besides which, if we leave our feet dusty, perspiring and tired, and admit they are made of clay, we might just find our Saviour-friend taking them in his hands over a bowl of water, giving us rest from our toil and removing the burdens from our striving shoulders.


©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

Photo from Pixabay



Veil of Tears 103: Incarcerated

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So he took Joseph and threw him into the prison where the king’s prisoners were held, and there he remained.” Genesis 39:20 NLT

Today is Nelson Mandela Day (18th July). Whenever I read about people like Joseph who were imprisoned on false charges or unfair accusations or lies, or even those who have committed small crimes but been given horrendous sentences, I think of those 27 years of imprisonment that Mr Mandela underwent. He must have, like Joseph, and like Jeremiah in his cistern, have wondered if he would die there, the hope of release must have seemed forlorn and unlikely.

Others of us are imprisoned in different ways of course, in abusive relationships, tough marriages or in bodies that make us feel less than human. Many of my friends with severe M.E. are living in a world of one room, weak as they are, unable to feed or wash themselves, let alone get outside. I see my wheelchair as an enabling thing, but then, I am not confined to it all day like so many people, who perhaps feel imprisoned.

Still others of course, feel imprisoned by debt, by circumstances, by their pasts, or even by guilt and regret. There are so many things that can make us feel that desire for liberation from the chains that hold us back. And many of my fellow Christians will proclaim that by Jesus’ blood we are free, we are saved from all these bondages. And that is undoubtedly true in a whole heap of ways. But knowing that is not always tantamount to securing the tangible reality of it. And some of us are kept in our small or difficult circumstances, indeed in our real prisons or penitentiaries, for a very long time, long after we have come to faith. This is not because the power of God is not working in our lives, but because it is working unseen. Invisible miracles happen in prisons of various kinds every minute of every day.

Rays of sunshine can penetrate the heart wherever we are. Hope can live in the most arid and desperate conditions, and faith can flourish in small and impoverished circumstances. There is fruit still there to be borne. How many times do we hear of prisoners finding Jesus whilst behind bars? And how can we deny that miracles happened in that small cell on Robyn Island, where a peaceful, gentle and wise humility was created from a passionate rebel heart? If we give our yes to love, to God, then powerful transformations can occur in these cells of isolation. The desert fathers and mothers understood this well, self-imposing constrictions, as monks and nuns continue to do today.

Indeed, as citizens of heaven we might well say that our very bodies and our present circumstances are our cells, fidelity to which, as Abba Moses counselled, was the way to spiritual knowledge. “Go, sit in your cell,” he would say, “And your cell will teach you everything.”


©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

Photo from Pixabay