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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