You became as we are

You Are by Pip Nicholls

You Are by Pip Nicholls

In the interests
of calling us home
You became as we are.

You willingly
experienced all that
it is to be prodigal,

to be in this homeless
land of superficial selfhood.
You too, had to know

the loneliness of separation,
like us, you had to
be blinded by transient influences.

And You awoke to there
being no self to cling to,
You fully experienced I Am.

You saw through the
illusion of self
as a human perception

so Your life became our
alarm bell that we too
would wake to the same.

You Are the prodigal son, the father,
the unsung mother, the brother,
the fatted calf, the storyteller, the story…

Awaken within us
draw us home to You –
welcome us as We Are.

Pip Nicholls loves to read slowly, in fact prefers to do everything with a little ‘slow’ attached, so she enjoys poetry and cartoons for getting to the unsayable briefly and succinctly. More about Pip can be found at her website The Gentle Art of Knowing

Source: Refresh Journal of Contemplative Spirituality Volume 13, Number 2. Winter 2014. 

Three Gratitude’s


Three Gratitude’s

Every night before I go to sleep
I say out loud
Three things that I’m grateful for,
All the significant, insignificant
Extraordinary, ordinary stuff of my life.

It’s a small practice and humble,
And yet, I find I sleep better
Holding what lightens and softens my life
Ever so briefly at the end of the day.

Sunlight, and blueberries,
Good dogs and wool socks,
A fine rain,
A good friend,
Fresh basil and wild phlox,
My father’s good health,
My daughter’s new job,
The song that always makes me cry,
Always at the same part,
No matter how many times I hear it.
Decent coffee at the airport,
And your quiet breathing,
The stories you told me,
The frost patterns on the windows,
English horns and banjos,
Wood Thrush and June bugs,
The smooth glassy calm of the morning pond,
An old coat,
A new poem,
My library card,
And that my car keeps running
Despite all the miles.

And after three things,
More often than not,
I get on a roll and I just keep on going,
I keep naming and listing,

Until I lie grinning,
Blankets pulled up to my chin,
Awash with wonder
At the sweetness of it all.

Carrie Newcomer

Listen to a podcast interview with Carrie Newcomer by visiting On Being

Connect with Carrie on her Website and follow her on Twitter

After an Earthquake

After an earthquake

It doesn’t pay to be loose around the edges
at a time like this
to be frivolous or slack
don’t frighten anyone with a sudden sneeze
no leaping out of a birthday cake


You need to focus, concentrate
hold your mind in a straight path
don’t deviate into arrogance or smugness
don’t think you’ve got it all sorted
or imagine you can ride this rocky road
on your own
there are forces greater than you at work here
power beyond your meagre capacity to understand


You need to twine your heart
like a piece of number 8 wire
around something solid and grounded
that will hold you calm on the roughest of days
and the bumpiest of nights

Be thankful
look at all you have become
even in the midst of all you have lost

Be attentive
listen to the Voice speaking
like stirrings of wind through the trees

Be present in the here and now
appreciate the texture
the sound, the taste and touch
of each precious and holy moment

Be still
rest in the One whose love you know


by Barbara Sampson

Barbara Sampson is director at The Salvation Army Hornby’s Community Ministries in Christchurch, and part time poet, wordsmith and spiritual director. Wife of one, mother of two, grandmother of ten.

Source Refresh: Journal of Contemplative Spirituality Volume 13 Number 1 Summer 2014

Photo Credit: e_lisewin via Compfight cc

There is an Ocean

Open up there is an Ocean at your Door

There is an Ocean

We, so small and plain
and self-contained,
we live lives full of
petty concerns, and selfish gain.

We, all wound up and tight
and self-absorbed,
we draw up the drawbridge,
and pull shut the door.

With our concern for self
we become confined,
we narrow our world,
until there’s only room for one.

With our focus drawn in
we are cut off from Him,
the source of our joy, our power,
our love, our very fulfilment.

Open wide, open up.
There is an ocean at your door.
There is a river that through you would flow.
Behind you is the author of it all.

His is the strength that propels,
His the love that heals,
His the song that delights our heart,
His the touch that soothes.

His the deep contentment,
His the answer to our questions,
His the almighty provision,
His the balm to our wounds.

As heaven is high, and the earth is wide
so we can uncoil;
grow up like a seedling to the sun,
and in His warmth feel our hearts thaw.

We, so small and plain,
and self-contained.
We, who live lives of fruitless striving,
and senseless pain.

We, all wound up and tight
and self-absorbed;
we can open to His touch,
fling wide the door.

And as we do so we can breathe.
Now what others think no longer matters.
Our fears haven’t power to haunt,
our illusions shatter.

Sons and daughters of a higher power,
adopted in His Kingdom;
we finally sense from whom we’ve come,
whose love is entwined through every living thing.

We can reach out and connect,
without plans or agendas.
We can in freedom relate and trust,
and to His will we surrender.

We can love and be loved,
and as bearers of His light;
we can know the beauty of giving and receiving,
for naught but His delight.

Open wide, open up.
There is an ocean at your door.
There is a river that through you would flow.
Behind you is the author of it all.

Ana Lisa de Jong

Source: Refresh – Journal of Contemplative Spirituality (Summer 2013-2014)

Ana Lisa de Jong enjoys her work for NZDF Chaplaincy as a Chaplaincy administrator.
Previously in her teens and twenties she loved writing, but her poems were romantically inclined towards her partner. Now she’s writing love letters to God and it’s like the fulfilment of a gift, being able to give it back to God.

Discover her website Joy in a New Way

Photo Credit: David Kracht via Compfight cc

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can it be?

can it be?

have I for so long

forgotten to feed myself?

for nigh a year now

I was slowly starving.

getting lost in busy days,

tossing aside the hunger

that chewed away inside.

yet, I did not die.

by some quiet miracle

I made it to this moment

of truth:

I nearly starved to death.

it was not my body

that I failed to feed.

it was my spirit,

left alone for days

without nourishment or care.

and then one day

I paused to look within,

shocked at what I found:

so thin of faith,

so weak in understanding,

so needy of encouragement.

my starving spirit cried the truth:

I can!

I will!

I must

be fed!

– Joyce Rupp
Photo Credit: Nick-K (Nikos Koutoulas) via Compfight cc


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Between Here and There – I Am Waiting


Between Here and There

I am waiting
-for what?
To be there, not here,
To be somewhere else;
To have that, not this,
For ‘this’ to be over;
For then, not now,
To have tomorrow, today.
I am waiting for
The pain to be gone and
My future certain;
A sense of security and
My life to make sense;
My world to be different and
The landscape to change.

I am waiting for God to
See things my way and
Change His mind.

God is waiting for
My ‘there’ to become His ‘here’;
My ‘that’ to become His ‘this’;
My ‘then’ to become His ‘now’.
God is waiting for
Me to see things His way and
Change my mind.
God is waiting until
I see myself and my world

Through His eyes.
God and me, together, waiting –
Until there is no distance between
‘Here’ and ‘there’, ‘this’ and ‘that’, ‘now’ and ‘then’;
God and me, waiting together and
Both of us longing for
The waiting to be over.


by M. Jane Hansen

Jane Hansen is married to Jim, and is also mum and grandma. Jane enjoys country life
close to the Wairere Falls beneath the Kaimai Ranges, visits from family and friends and
writing in response to God’s grace in the blessings and challenges of everyday life.

Source: Refresh. Winter 2013

Photo Credit: red twolips via Compfight cc

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