Wednesday, November 16, 2005


If you haven't yet discovered the world of Australian cartoonist and poet Michael Leunig, it's worth checking him out on curly flat and elsewhere on the web. What I like about him, apart from his often dry humour, is that he manages to puncture the self-regard of human beings (especially in their 'religious' mode) with knowing gentleness, and to point towards a depth of experience which is fully funded by a Christian perspective but able to speak well beyond those bounds -- because it is about life, not loyalism.

So I was delighted and a little surprised to see that Rowan Williams, in his wise presidential address to the General Synod of the Church of England (an occasion more likely to induce depression than hope for many of us, but well documented by Thinking Anglicans) decided to quote a typical prayer from Leunig at the end of his peroration:

There are only two feelings.
Love and fear.
There are only two languages.
Love and fear.
There are only two activities.
Love and fear.
There are only two motives,
two procedures, two frameworks,
two results.
Love and fear.
Love and fear.

God help us to find our confession;
The truth within us which is hidden from our mind;
The beauty or ugliness we see elsewhere
But never in ourselves;
The stowaway which has been smuggled
Into the dark side of the heart,
Which puts the heart off balance and causes it pain,
Which wearies and confuses us,
Which tips us in false directions and inclines us to destruction,
The load which is not carried squarely
Because it is carried in ignorance.

God help us to find our confession.
Help us across the boundary of our understanding.
Lead us into the darkness that we may find what lies concealed;
That we may confess it towards the light;
That we may carry our truth in the centre of our heart;
That we may carry our cross wisely
And bring harmony into our life and our world.

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