This is a poem I wrote at Easter in 2014 and strangely it seems even more relevant in these challenging ‘in-between times’ of uncertainty, darkness, separation and death. Of course people reading this will all believe different things but maybe, as I try to express what Easter means to me personally, it could bring a little hope to others in these times.
They say the sun shines
on the righteous and the unrighteous.
And I’m grateful that it does
because it shines on me
and I’m both.
As I eat banana and bacon pancakes
by the sea
on Easter Saturday
I marvel at the grace
of His sunshine on me.
Here in the in-between place
between Good Friday and Easter Day
between sacrifice and restoration
between loss and great gain
between separation and reunification
between seeming defeat and overwhelming triumph
between death and new life.
In this in-between space,
His friends had to wait,
had to sit in the unknowing
and crushing disappointment
in the devastating silence.
It’s here in this space
that the mysterious happened:
the glorious and baffling exchange.
for His glory.
Maybe my brain doesn’t fully ‘get’ it
but my heart has certainly experienced it.
It’s here that I get to lay down
all in me that’s not right
everything that’s ‘unrighteous’
all that’s not His wonderful way.
I lay down my fears
I give him all the hidden ugliness of my heart.
And it’s here
that he takes it onto himself
at unimaginably high cost.
Then as the sun dawns on Easter Sunday
and life smashes through death
it’s now that he gives me in return
what I don’t deserve
what I could never earn.
Fullness of life
and the privilege
of the offer
of a life changing relationship
with the creator of the universe
with the most compassionate and humble man who ever lived
with the source of peace and love.
of right relationship with Him:
not forced on me
but if I receive it
my life will never be the same.
A ‘mission impossible’:
to bring wholeness and restoration in the world, as He did
only possible through His power at work inside me.
And so on this day of triumph
I choose afresh
I choose full life
and accept the mission that’s impossible without Him.
I step deeper into the adventure
where my life has meaning and purpose
where it’s possible to break free from the stuff that holds me back
where I’m aware of His loving presence: real, alive, powerful
where there’s a gift of peace under-girding even the hardest times.
I step into the adventure
where extra-ordinary things could happen
and amazingly they often do.
Copyright Hilary Murdoch 2014. All rights reserved.
I haven’t posted for ages but I have some news to share and I’m very excited! I have been working on a new book and it’s starting to become a reality. Still a long way to go but it’s really happening!
It’s a children’s book called ‘Stars in Jars’ – an allegory about how we shouldn’t try to own nature because we just spoil it.
“There was a boy and his dog who lived in a land where the sea was the sky and the sky was the sea. They fished for stars and put the stars in jars to light up their dingy igloo….”
Here’s a sneak peak of the first drafts of the composite images… a combination of loose inks on wet paper, permanent marker on clear plastic acetate (the outline of the stars) and then the little characters on the iceberg in pen and watercolour. I just learnt a computer programme last night to layer the elements up into one image. I wrote the story years ago and started on the illustrations in earnest last year, just trying to do one illustration every two weeks.
If you’re interested in getting a copy when it’s done do email me (email@example.com) and I’ll put you on a list to let you know when they are available… won’t be for a while yet, but I’m hoping it’ll be this year. Of course if you have any contacts in children’s publishing or have experience of Amazon self-publishing do let me know, I’d love your advice. Watch this space!
Creator of the universe
A walk with deliberate attentiveness….
Twisted sillouettes against the blue.
Two creeper branches reaching for the sky,
tendrils finding each other in mid air.
Butterflies flitting between the grasses,
some autumny orange and some bright white.
Surprising strong waft of sweet wild jasmine,
hidden in the undergrowth.
The soft feel of a furry leaf,
like a mouses back.
The spikey rough touch of bark.
So many different bird sounds,
once I tune in,
chirps, chattering, squawks,
some low and regular
and some a high melody on top,
every so often catching a glimpse of their source.
Round droplets of dew on leaves, sparkling with light, swiftly disappearing.
Amber beads of sap
hanging from split rough bark,
attracting busy lines of ants.
The liquid gold smells sweet, strong and medicinal.
Simply switching senses on
and slowing down.
Attentiveness with great rewards.
Beauty that goes unnoticed is still beauty,
quietly waiting to feed our souls when seen.
I come to you
holding my truth,
with kindness and compassion,
not squashing them in shame.
Even the emotions
that seem ugly,
even those I wish weren’t there.
As I bring them to you
I allow you to hold me,
to meet me
in the place of my honesty,
to listen to me
with care and gentleness.
I don’t want to (or need to)
stay in these emotions for ever,
they are not my whole truth.
But for now,
they need to be heard
and held with kindness,
as you hold me
in my honest truth.
Clay sculpture and poem by Hilary Murdoch 2018
Wow this is just incredible.
I know I shed a tear easily but I shed one with this… the beauty and power of love and encouragement spoken even to a stranger, just so beautiful. More of this in the world please.
Let’s not just leave it to this lady. Who could you write an encouraging note to?