My Journey

Secure within my comfort zone,
protected from besieging germ,
I thank good fortune I am well,
and pray I won’t become infirm.

For of the knowledge tree I ate,
filled my pantry, stayed at home,
spent time apart from kith and kin,
immersed myself in Zoom and tome.

And now, in isolation, I
have time to contemplate and rest,
but find reflections weigh me down,
confuse my mind, put me to test.

For others suffer worse than me
amidst lost jobs, elusive hope.
‘Is it my role’, I ask myself,
‘to risk my health to help them cope?’

Then naked in God’s sight I hide,
distance myself from Micah’s call
to humbly walk and kindness love,
and justice do to those who fall.

But as I sit this crisis out,
observing from retirement’s womb
the stresses neighbours now endure,
I ponder on an empty tomb.

For on a cross forgiveness sang,
not silenced by a cruel fate,
not blaming me for selfish act,
but helping me my fears abate.

This fortress offers me some space
to trust the paradox of faith,
that in the midst of death … is life,
and there I find a place that’s safe.

God clothes me well with Eden’s skins
to help me learn to live Shalom
amidst Creation’s groaning sighs:
Your Kingdom Come adorns my home.

––––––––

Inspired by Genesis 3, Psalm 46, and Micah 6.8.

I write poetry to explore the ineffability of faith, almost paradoxically using words to cast light on faith’s mysteries, ambiguities, and challenges as humanity engages in a restless quest to understand the Divine.

‘My Journey’ is the third poem in an unplanned trilogy (following ‘Sophia’s Lament’ and ‘Gaia’s Revenge?’) written in response to 2020’s catastrophic start – bushfires, floods, COVID-19, and economic collapse. Where and how do we find God in these events? The divine, earth, and human perspectives unfolded as I put pen to paper.

Knowledge … home … distance … love … justice … neighbour … faith … safe … Eden … Shalom. How do we interpret these words and give effect to them in our lives as we face crises? Psalm 46, on which Luther’s hymn ‘A Mighty Fortress is Our God’ is based, provides some insights.

℘℘℘℘

CHRIS DALTON IS A RETIRED PUBLIC AFFAIRS ANALYST, WITH A PASSION FOR PUBLIC THEOLOGY, PARTICULARLY WITH REGARD TO THE ENVIRONMENT. AUTHOR OF REIMAGINING LAND IN AUSTRALIA: FROM TERRA NULLIUS TO BELOVED COMPANION, HE FINDS POETRY A REWARDING WAY TO EXPLORE ‘WICKED’ PROBLEMS. HE LIVES ON BUNURONG/BOONWURRUNG AND YUIN LANDS.

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