Voice 39: various Good Friday voices

Today we welcome contributions from some of our 40 Voices contributors who have offered music, words and images for you to pray with through Good Friday.

Our thanks to  Sally Coleman, Ruth Parry, Graham Jones, Mark Stennet, Tim Baker, Lin Fidgin, Elizabeth Stanforth – Sharpe, Victoria Etherington.

Please pray with any that you are drawn to.

Music

 

 

Art

IMG_4958

 

Words

The voices are those of John and Mary mother of Jesus

 

I couldn’t leave him,

Yet I couldn’t bear to look …

he was my friend…

my wonderful, beautiful friend…

 

I couldn’t leave him,

Yet I couldn’t bear to look…

my son, my beautiful son

disfigured and broken

 

He was dying…

 

Dying…

 

Dying

 

*(Pause)

 

Whipped within an inch of his life,

 

Nails through his hands and his feet,

 

Whipped,

 

Hung on a cross

 

He was dying

 

Dying

 

Dying…

 

*(Pause)

 

I could hear his pain filled

gasping breaths….

 

His groans as he fought

to bear his weight

 

and I wept….

 

I could do nothing but weep….

 

*(Pause)

 

Then he thought of me…

 

He thought of me….

And he called me friend,

 

…..me, Mother….

 

And he gave us to one another;

 

Mother…

 

…and son

 

He was dying and he thought of me

 

He was dying and he thought of me

 

He was dying and he thought of me…

                                                                                   Sally Coleman

 

The Olive trees are now in full flower – ancient trees bringing new life each year. In the old hollow trunk of one tree are stored the tools with which to tend this garden – a natural garden shed. The perfume of roses hangs delicately in the air and the hollyhocks are in their full and stately splendour, the birds sing and I notice a small Olive Tree sapling – newly planted and watered. It is a Friday so there is less traffic on the road and so it is more peaceful than it is sometime. The grey-green of the leaves rippling in the breeze are so calming – so strange that this beautiful and peaceful place is a place of agony. As I sit in this garden, so poignant, my soul feels refreshed as I notice the words on the plaque in the photograph – in English and German and I pray “Lord God, I do not understand the world, I do not understand this place, I do not understand myself – but YOU – I trust. Amen.

Ruth Parry

garden

 

Secondhand.

No, I don’t think each miscreant had a new one.

Caesar had better use for tribute money.

Somewhere there must have been a store of them

Made by a local carpenter. Who knows

What he thought of his work. Did he think

Not for me, ye gods! Ha! Not for me!

Smoothing the wood a bit in a half-shamed way.

Dislike the job, but wife and kids to support.

Or, didn’t he think at all?

 

He wasn’t skilled, perhaps. Short and strong-backed

With the strength needed for that clumsy job.

Or, was he skilled? Making a bit on the side

With crosses, easy work, as overtime.

 

Did he know that other joiner, at Nazareth?

Joseph? Just heard of him. Some fuss with his eldest son.

Turned out queer, didn’t he? Didn’t follow the trade.

 

Somewhere there must have been a store of them.

Filthy. The sour wood smelling still of pain.

Brought out. Inspected. Used again. And again.

 

I think the nails were new.

 

There must have been holes waiting for them.

Round holes. Drilled in the shallow, stony soil.

Seldom rain-filled. Easy to drop a cross in.

Deep. To stand vertical with the heavy load.

A man-made tree on which men died.

 

After one Death. After the gash in the side.

The Cross taken down. The blood-soaked nails withdrawn…

Did that Cross go back to the store?

Who used it afterwards? Who hung

On the same Rood

Where once hung God?

                                                             Elizabeth Stanforth-Sharpe.

 

 

Images

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