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It can be horribly unsettling
Not knowing whom to trust,
When our faith is now illegal –
But we could never give it up.
It can be quite disorientating,
The expectations still imposed
As if nothing ever changed –
When nothing could be the same.
It can be so difficult to explain
Why we now think, act, decide
In a wholly different manner, when
Our very motive breaks the law.
It can be awfully confusing
To hope that hope may spread;
To wish this love upon others –
Conscious of the consequence.
It can be truly heartbreaking
Neglecting opportunity to share;
Conversation of transformation –
Tremendously unsafe for both.
It can be utterly wonderful
Seeing others begin to believe –
Aware of how much it costs,
And unaware of what may come.
It can be life-consuming –
This love, relationship with Him.
We often wish it were easy;
But strength grows out of trial.
It can be pretty dangerous
To speak of our reason for living;
Tell of wondrous, liberating truth,
In full knowledge of the law.
It can be really devastating
Seeing imprisonment; killings…
Wish the persecutors understood
The wholeness they could know.
It can be genuinely frightening
Living in necessary secrecy,
While nursing a profound longing
For others to know this joy.
At least now we have a signal,
A subtly clever way of knowing
With whom we share new life;
Identifying our newfound family.
Casually draw an arc in the sand
With stick or staff, finger or toe.
If the stranger mirrors the arc
We know they’re one of us.
A handy safeguarding measure,
Or password in times of need –
Since folks have oft been tricked;
Endangered others by misplaced trust.
The fish, such a simple shape,
Easy to draw with accidental air.
So casual and unsuspicious –
Yet expressing deep meaning.
Ichthus, the Greek word for fish.
Iesous for Jesus, Christos the Christ,
Theou “of God”, Uios the Son,
Sotair the Saviour. Our one love.
He called them as fishers of men
Those first followers, so fresh;
Years before the Way was outlawed.
O teach us, Lord, to fish.
Written March 2018 (by Kat Gibson).
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