Love wins because it is willing to lose

Love is strong because it is vulnerable; it overcomes because it serves; it is powerful because it does not strive for power.

Love doesn’t climb ladders to get ahead; it mucks in at ground level. Love is not desperate for the dawn; it sets up camp in the dark night of the soul and builds a fire.

Love does not dominate, segregate or accumulate. Love would rather get nailed to a cross in a posture of inclusion than take up a sword to conquer.

Love wins because it is willing to lose.

Gideon Heugh

Forest

‘I thought I dreamt of a forest once’

I thought I dreamt of a forest once, darkly green,
a place where the wind could hide
and becoming lost we would find ourselves.
I thought I dreamt of fallen leaves,
of decay enriching the soil; life rising
from the sweet sting of impermanence.
Now awake, enclosed by undying concrete,
I think of the beginnings that will never come
because of the endings that cannot.

Gideon Heugh

A song thrush singing in the wood makes the poet think of God

After perhaps fifteen minutes or so
I gave up looking for the song thrush.
Not because I am impatient,
though there is that,
not because I didn’t want
my coffee to get cold,
though there is that;
no, it is because I realised
that as long as I was searching
I was not listening,
as long as my mind was grasping
my heart was not receiving,
as long as my eyes were straining
to find the source of the music
I could not stop to revel in the fact
that there should be music at all.

Gideon Heugh

On spring

All that is good is growing.
Yesterday and so many yesterdays
it seemed dead. But now
the deep God stirs in her earth,
and seed and root remember sky
and brightened make their move
towards it. Life rubs its eyes, spring
no longer a dream to sustain
through the colding days
but a reality born from sunlight
and bluebells and the sure refrain
of the chiffchaff.
All that is good is growing;
the darker season has had its time
and will do so again, a knowledge
to make these thrill bloomings
all the sweeter. The return of the swallows
is only marked because they left,
and will leave. But today in the fields
the lambs are becoming sure of their feet,
and green is dancing once more in the trees,
and in the gardens there is a tenderness
showing itself in the eyes of the flowers.
I see that I am not dead,
nor is the hope that I was once born into.
I see the meaning in our burials –
that despairing we might rise for air
and unexpectedly find it, and explore it
with lungs made new by thankfulness.
Even though the last stands of cold
may cling to us, along with the clenching memory
of winters past – all those dyings of our hearts –
even so, today and so many todays:
all that is good is growing.

 

Gideon Heugh

Snowdrop

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Snowdrop

Observe the man. I mean
this man, parched in the midst
of all kinds of plans,
longing for the moisture of meaning.

Observe the snowdrop. I mean
this snowdrop, risen quite suddenly
on a bare lawn, a bead of night rain
clinging to its bowed head.

See how small it is,
how utterly without
what you might call strength
or ambition, see
how it makes even winter smile.

Little wet flower,
so unhuman,
so entirely alive.

Gideon Heugh

 

A prayer for 2020

May this be a year
in which we slow down,
pay close attention,
pause, breathe, be still.

May this be a year
in which we reconnect with nature,
use all of our senses
and re-tune our souls to wonder.

May this be a year
in which we are kinder
to the Earth, to each other
and to ourselves.

May this be a year
in which we say no:
no to busyness, no to more stuff,
no to anger and hatred and despair.

May this be a year
in which we say yes:
yes to stargazing, yes to birdsong,
yes to hope and forgiveness and love.

May this be a year
in which our minds are open,
our arms wide,
our hearts full.

Gideon Heugh

Do you not know? Have you not heard?

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A Christmas poem

Stop. Do you not know?
Life doesn’t have to be this way;
something new can be born in your heart today.

Listen. Have you not heard?
Your whole being sings the love song of Christ;
this world is drenched in the wonder of his light.

Breathe. Will you accept it?
You can let your striving fall away;
let it dissolve into beauty and grace.

Open your eyes. Can you see it?
You have nothing to prove, nothing to fear;
God is with us, heaven is here.

Gideon Heugh

A prayer for sabbath, Autumn

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Lord, help me to love myself
in the same way that I love
the sunbeam
and the scent of fallen leaves.

Help to hold myself
in the same way I am held
by the Autumn morning
stretching its golden arms
around my heart.

And help me to believe
increasingly
in this world of aching wonder,
which somehow
includes me.

Gideon Heugh

How to be more alive

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How to be more alive

First, open your arms
to your own humanity;
give the gorgeous mess
of your entirety
a warm welcome, remembering
that all of you is loved,
free from limit or condition.

Second, drop your heart
into a pool of wonder –
the sacred, healing healing water
found wherever there are trees
or birds or streams or hills
or the opulence of an unfiltered sky.
Do not let the screens hem you in;
seek instead the heaven-wrought,
the Spirit-woven –
all that brightly sings
of the Abundance.

Third, let your love travel
beyond all bounds,
let the curtains tear before it
so that nothing is left unadored –
including your brokenness
and the failings of the world.
Every soul walks with a limp,
and not one is unworthy
of compassion’s warm embrace.

 

Gideon Heugh

Empire

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It’s easy to look at the news these days and feel hopeless. Politicians are dragging democracy through the dirt, xenophobia and racism keep rearing their ugly heads, and all the while the poor and the marginalised are ignored.

But there is hope. History is littered with the bones of empires. Power is powerless against love, which is the only thing that lasts forever. If you tread all over other people for your own gain, you are setting yourself against the truest and deepest forces in the universe.

God is a direction. We are moving forward. We always have been and we always will be. And the power-grabbers and money-snatchers will always get left behind.

‘Empire’

The fall of every empire
is pre-ordained,
the fires of oppression
cannot be sustained.

The cry for deliverance
will always be heard –
liberation never fails:
hope has the final word.

So do not despair
at the empires around you,
even though power and greed
and corruption surround you;

lift up your heart,
lift it to the light,
for the Spirit of the Ages
bends to our plight.

Peace,
Gideon Heugh x