These crazy flames lick and lap at all that ranges round us,
the trappings of our wealth,
experience and existence.
At birth we can’t anticipate our existential ending,
the length of life not ours to count or measure.
But then we face eternity,
depending on belief.
Like night’s thief, flames hotter than hell’s painting are not some distant image,
but sharpened fronds dissembling each dwelling.
And if we leave reality says,
‘there is no return’.
Can faith uphold us through this conflagration?
Survival walks naked of all that we have known,
valued or possessed.
That is the option open to us.
Our Hobson has no choice.
So if we die we will know what rests beyond this life.
Remaining so much is loss or lost.
Whichever path we walk pray this,
pray only this,
that now and on beyond this moment
the love a letter writer once described
and keep us still through all that is to come.
And no insurance…just the faith…
Words © Andrew Pratt 4/1/2019
A sad conflagration, now Paris is grieving,
the fire crews have struggled to dowse and control,
so much has been ruined, yet memory still rises,
God’s grace will enliven rebuilding its soul.
For hundreds of years generations have worshipped,
the river has flowed near where people have prayed.
Now voices are silent, the hearts of the people
are rending at loss where the flames leapt and played.
So now we stand silent as God’s congregation.
Where once saints had sung timbers smoulder and crash.
Your Church, God, is human, but buildings have purpose,
may witness and faith rise again from this ash.
Andrew Pratt 15/4/2019
Notre Dame on fire this evening.
Words © 2019 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://www.stainer.co.uk.
Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.