Voice 21: Susan Greenhart, Minister, Leeds North and East Circuit.

I am a Methodist Minister in the Leeds North and East Circuit. I believe God meets us where we are, so that experience is as different for each of us as we are from one another. I meet God in the great outdoors and through story, art and poetry. God doesn’t need great works of art from me – just to meet him through the creativity, he inspires me.


Chocolate Grief

I needed to taste that bitter, bitter sweet chocolate

gently share the Passover

to take myself to that place and there was togetherness

and love and memories sweet as a mother’s lap

and laughter and story.


I needed to sit and paint a picture of

of 12 women, his disciples

kneeling before Jesus as he began to wash their feet

before I could walk this walk,  find the courage somehow.


I needed to sit alone and pray

feel that abandonment, taste it, remember, grieve

and stumble forward.


So in the night, as his begging chant sung in my head

I watched Jesus pray.

Not in a beautiful garden but in a nest of brambles,

bleeding as every prayer thorned and tore at his flesh.

You know what nests are like  – walled cities from the outside

Protective, yet centered, softened by the mothers love,

And so it was for him.


An angel cherishing him even as he wrestled with his Gods self.

And once, twice, he walked the stones distance to beg my prayers

And oh, I wanted to.

I saw his pain, his anticipation of hell

Yet wished I stayed behind

doing the washing up, where women hide their tears

among the sloshing of dishes.

And then I knew –

Jesus had been hiding his grief too.

All through Passover sharing all we had done together

His face set in love, teaching us, urging us on, right to the end,

preparing us for battle beyond our imagining.

So I stayed in bed, weeping inside,

holding this grief, watching it wash over my heart

like the sea, salty, tidal, watching for the change to come

asleep, awake, not knowing the difference.


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