Sunday, 23 June 2013

At His feet

Today's post for Sunday is a lovely poem by a Mrs Thelma Shacklady, which appeared in the 1989 edition of "The Pilot", but which I think is well worth sharing. It is interesting how much feet crop up in the gospels, and this poem brings that out well.
I also like the connection to the remaining fragment of the mural in the Fisherman's Chapel; in this way, the poem reminds me of that remarkable part of "The Silver Chair" by C.S. Lewis, where the only remaining words carved in stone, "Under Me", are not merely part of a much longer text, but precisely by a remaining fragment, become one of the signs from Aslan. What remains can sometimes be as significant as that lost, because we can see that much more clearly, much more sharply in focus.
The Pilot notes:
"This poem was written this summer by Mrs Thelma Shacklady, a visitor to Jersey. She is a sufferer from M.E., a Christian herself, who came to stay with some Christian friends. She had been very ill and had temporarily to give up teaching English. She and her husband visited the Fisherman's Chapel and there she found a particular closeness to the Lord. The experience touched her physically as well as spiritually and she returned home much stronger and with a renewed sense of hope and anticipation for her future. "
In the Fishermen's Chapel in St Brelade, the mediaeval murals are almost obliterated. Of the Crucifixion, all that can be clearly seen are Our Lord's feet.
Those feet, devoutly crossed,
Are impiously pierced by vicious nails,
Impaled upon the suffering wood,
Yet would have been saved by angels,
If Christ were tempted once.
Feet which, for three years, tramped the dusty paths,
Were scratched by thorns and bruised by stones,
Danced at a wedding in Galilee,
And water was miraculously wine.
Strode into the temple, violently
Kicking aside the money-changers' stalls.
Were glimpsed by woman taken in adultery
As she crouched low, awaiting the first stone.
Feet which were cushioned by the waves
As they serenely stepped towards the boat
Where the disciples cowered in fear.
Stood with authority at Lazarus' tomb,
While a dead man was called forth,
Staggered obediently up to the hill to Golgotha.
Lord, I worship at your feet,
I wash them with my tears,
And dry them with my hair.

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