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Showing posts from April, 2016

Sing it, sister!

I will worship (I will worship)
With all of my heart (with all of my heart)
I will praise You (I will praise You)
With all of my strength (all my strength)  I will seek You (I will seek You)
All of my days (all of my days)
And I will follow (I will follow)
All of Your ways (all Your ways)... David Ruis, Maranatha Praise, Inc., 1991 For the uninitiated, this here's a song that the medium-to-considerably happy-clappy sing in church. And in case you're wondering, the bits in brackets are an echo 'traditionally' sung by the female members of the congregation. The pattern is not ubiquitous, but neither is it rare (and never, to my knowledge, is it inverted).

The other day, I had the rare joy of standing next to my sister in church, and I noticed that she was singing, not the 'response', as prescribed, but the 'call'. In a momentary pang of vicarious embarrassment I nearly nudged her – much as I would intervene if she was accidentally heading for the 'ge…

Antiphon (a sonnet)

A poem I wrote over Christmas, which originally appeared in the February 2016 Sophia Network blog:


How many have said no who were not heard?
Men of all tongues have wielded will and might,
And the presumption that the sum makes right,
Against the impotence of Tamar's word.
The image jointly borne is two-ways marred:
One brutal face to face one framed in fright,
As ‘love’ unsatisfied engenders hate,
Faith fails, and hope seems hopelessly deferred.

But He whose strength eclipses any man's
Waits for a yes and, with a girl's consent,
Proceeds to bless the nations, bring down low
The mighty, raise the meek with outstretched hands;
A Word within a womb, expressed full vent
In answer to each disregarded no. Carolyn Whitnall, 2015

It happened that I spent much of December past grappling in new ways with Luke's Annunciation account. I'd not long since been reading 2 Samuel, and the story of Tamar's rape by her brother Amnon had resonated painfully with a slowly…