Advent 17: Journey…

Today, I am driving 7 hours down to England, having been called to my mother’s bedside. We have been here before and may well be many times yet, but it feels hard. A long journey towards the unknown.

I did not need to make this journey alone, but persuaded Michaela that I needed to. I will probably regret that a few times. But there were once three of us; my mum, my sister and me. We lived in our ordinary dysfunctional bubble, the inside of which will soon only belong to me.

But how blessed are we who journey together? In my loneliness, I am rarely alone. I am surrounded by people I love. I am held even when I do not feel the holding arms.

Those of you who make your own journeys, alone or in company, I pray for you this kind of companionship. I pray it to for my old mum.

It is Immanuel.

Shepherd

.
Gathered
Like the late autumn crop
Like loose threads in a sock
Like a post box gets mail
Like the children of Israel
Like birds overheard
Folk at a deathbed
Chicks under a wing
A choir come to sing
Like stories not told
Like the sheep in this fold

.
Gathered
Like wet fallen leaves
Like fields full of sheaves
In the arms of a mother
In the life of my lover
Crowd to upcoming band
Like a beach full of sand
Like hook and like eye
Like clouds in clear sky
Like boats back from sea
Like you gather me

.
Gathered
Like slow recollection
Like mutual affection
Like pond-bottom slime
Around the scene of a crime
Bright hearths in December
Like football club members
Like the hungry to feast
Around the holy high priest
Honey bees to a hive
Refugees who survived

.
Gathered
Like dry clothes from a line
Like grapes to make wine
Like fish in a net
Like old age regret
Like friends in a pub
Like the weft of a rug
Like cards from the table
Like a fibre-optic cable
Like hairs in a comb
Prodigal now back home

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