DARKNESS AND THE DAWN

Darkness and the Dawn
April 14th 2010  ©  D. J. Hayman – for the Class of 2010

Won’t you take me down to the river-side,
I want to make a new start there;
For they say the dead shall be made alive,
When they pass through that flood.
Thunder booms in the prophet’s words
As he stirs the hearts’ desire
For the Saviour who is coming soon
With Spirit and with fire.

*****************************

I smelled the leper before I saw
His body smeared with sores;
And I heard his mournful cry ring out,
“Unclean!  Don’t you come near!”
Then a hand stretched out, and a voice replied
“Be clean!”—so clear and bold—
And the scene transformed before my eyes:
The wretched man made whole.

*****************************

“You drunkard!” they said, and “Glutton!” too—
“Don’t you know how to wash your hands?
“We know your kind; you’re not welcome here;
“Just go back where you belong!”
“O Father,” He prayed, “Forgive their sins—
“They don’t know what they’re about.”
Then He spoke of cleansing what’s inside,
Then turning the inside out.

*****************************

In the dark of the night, dark night of the soul,
A stranger’s kiss from a friend—
(All run away, climb in a hole,
Lest the sky fall on our heads!
He stands so tall, ‘though the blows they rain:
Words and whips, then driving nails!)—
In the light of the morn; dark night at Noon—
It’s Paradise today.

*****************************

There’s a crack in the door—the curtain’s torn—
I glimpsed the Mercy-Seat!
I know locks won’t hold a spirit out—
But this One has flesh and bones!
Hearts on fire, the incense smoke
Rises before the throne;
The Light shines on in the darkness yet—
It’s darkest before the Dawn.

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Published in: on December 7, 2010 at 12:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

A CHRISTMAS VISION

A Christmas Vision
(©1983 Doug J. Hayman)

1. Hark!  The new-born Christ Child cries!
Awake, ye dead, arise from sleep;
He has come, your souls to teach—
Behold, His face with glory beams!
Humble shepherds, foreign kings,
Once lost in death, behold now Spring.

2. King of kings and yet He chose
A humble birth of Virgin’s womb.
Born to live, yet suffer cruel—
But He shall leave an empty tomb.
Son of David, Son of Man,
Son of God in swaddling bands.

3. Angel-voices sing His praise.
All ye saints, draw near in faith;
Come as children to your King;
In wonder gaze on shining face!
Lamb of God, who takes away
The sins of the world,
In manger lay.

Published in: on December 7, 2010 at 12:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Song for Epiphany

Wake up, Jerusalem!
© D. J. Hayman (December 2007 )

Magi are riding into town—Wake up, Jerusalem!—
Necks craning, studying the skies,
Hearts pounding as the stars align!
Scribes, scattering, search through the scrolls;
They know when Herod’s restless that heads will roll;
But, smooth as a snake, he feigns his delight,
“Find the Child and show me; He’ll be precious in my sight.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

2
“Dismount, we’ll go from here on foot.”  (Hush now, O Bethlehem.)
“Here’s the house.  Come now on your knees;
We’ve brought our gifts to worship His Majesty.
A prophet’s voice still echoes through our land:
‘Dynasties shall rise and fall, and crumble into sand;
But then shall appear, before the Ancient of Days,
An everlasting Ruler worthy of all praise.'”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

3
Soldiers, marching in a line—Mourn now, O Bethlehem!—
Swords flash; screaming shatters sleep!
Infancy aborted; Rachel weeps!
Fear runs rampant, swallows up hope;
Blackness advances the light to choke;
But this is the Light which shines in the dark:
The darkness cannot overcome, nor even glimpse Its heart.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

4
Water dripping from His brow—Wake up, Jerusalem!—
Heavens opened, the Spirit, as a dove,
Abides on Him—Hear the words from above!
This is the Son, the Light of the world:
Gleaming in the wedding cup; Glory on the mountain top!
As dust ’round His feet lie the strongholds of hell,
Stripped of their power by the Love that conquers all.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Published in: on December 29, 2007 at 5:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

JOSEPH

Joseph

©2006 D.J.Hayman (rev. 2010)


1. Alone in the pit the colours are fading;

The memory’s dimming of my father’s love

My brothers have left me rejected, forsaken;

They’ve stripped off my coat,

Smeared the sleeves with innocent blood.

Refrain:

O Joseph, Did you see in your dreams

This darkness do you know what it means?

Have you trusted in fables?

Is the God whom you worship a lie?

* * * * * * * * * * * *

2. Hot dust from the camels is burning my nostrils,

My ears are assaulted by the market-place cries;

The towers and temples fill me with foreboding.

I’m sold.

The glare of the gold stings my eyes. O Joseph,

* * * * * * * * * * * *

3. I rose in the household and kept my integrity,

Yet once more I’m bound and cast here to die.

O God, I have served Thee, why dost Thou forsake me?

My God,

Why art Thou so far off? Lord hear my cry! O Joseph,

* * * * * * * * * * * *

4. The veil has been sundered and scenes are escaping,

As riddles in dreams which trouble the soul!

The key has been given to unlock their meaning;

Through this slave

Revealed is God’s purpose: He’s in control. O Joseph,

* * * * * * * * * * * *

5. The towers and temples fill them with foreboding;

The glare off the grain is stinging their eyes;

As though resurrected I stand there before them;

They bow down in anguish

Like stars in the sky.

Final Refrain:

O Joseph, Dreamer of dreams,

This darkness is not what it seems.

The Lord keeps His promise:

His Word brings life from the dead

Published in: on October 6, 2007 at 1:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Jacob

JACOB

©1997 D .J. Hayman

Heel-grabber, supplanter, patriarch,

You wrestled with the angel,

Come, look at the stars!

Your grandfather’s promise now rests on your sons;

Through the line of their descendants comes God’s Anointed One.

ויצחק

Deceive your brother? You can fool a man,

But the hosts of heaven move faster than you can;

Take the wings of the morning, flee away on and on,

But in the darkest corner comes the rising of God’s sun.

ויצחק

Heel-grabber, supplanter, patriarch,

You wrestled with the angel,

Come, look at the stars!

Your grandfather’s promise now rests on your sons;

Through the line of their descendants comes God’s Anointed One.

ויצחק

BRIDGE:

Jacob, now you’re called “Israel”;

A people, your pilgrim head pillowed on a stone;

Ravaged by the nations, this people called “God’s own”.

O come, Messiah, and bring Your people home

To the Promised Land.

ויצחק

Heel-grabber, supplanter, patriarch,

You wrestled with the angel,

Come, look at the stars!

Your grandfather’s promise now rests on your sons;

Through the line of their descendants comes God’s Anointed One.

ויצחק

Angels ascending, descending on Him;

He cleanses with fire, enlivens with Wind.

Brothers, long parted, in Him reconciled,

Sins put to death, lives raised up undefiled!

ויצחק

Heel-grabber, supplanter, patriarch,

You wrestled with the angel,

Come, look at the stars!

Your grandfather’s promise now rests on your sons;

Through the line of their descendants comes God’s Anointed One.

ויצחק

Published in: on October 2, 2007 at 8:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Church of St. James Blues

The Church of Saint James Blues

(©1992 D.J.Hayman)

 

I walked into the Church of Saint James;

It was raining outside and it was cold.

The organ was playing and the choir was singing,

But the people were so unfriendly that I darn near froze!

They looked me up, they looked me down, stared at the patches on my clothes;

I heard somebody say, “What’s that smell? Ah, not another one of those!

Somebody give him a dollar and send him on his way.”

Then the backs turned, and at the front somebody started to pray.

* * * * * *

O tell me, God in heaven, why is it a sin

For a man to lose all that he has and try to start again?

Brother Jesus, tell Your people I’m sorry to be in their way,

But if there’s no room for me inside, then outside I must pray.

So I left and sat at the curb side and I watched the people pass,

Watched the rain ripple the puddles, waving reflections of stained glass;

And I joined my tears with the raindrops and dreamed it was all a dream:

That the ripples stopped, the lines were clear, and things were not as they’d seemed.

* * * * * * * * * *

I don’t know if I was in the body, or if the Spirit came

To transport me into visions; but I swear I heard my name;

And I know that I saw the Saviour, (you can’t mistake those eyes ),

He was standing there in tattered clothes, and I’m sure I heard Him sigh.

Brother, you know He could not be kept out by doors that were locked up tight.

Sister, you know that even the Tomb could not contain His light.

He said, “Wherever I’m welcomed, I love away all of their fears;

Now don’t feel bad that they kept you out, they’ve been keeping Me out for years.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I walked away from the Church of Saint James;

It was still raining outside and it was cold.

The organ was silent and the people were praying —

It was that part of the service where they were breaking the loaves.

“This is My Body.”, said the Saviour, (“Recognize it.” said Saint Paul).

“Meet Me here where My people are gathered.” Jesus invited, “Drink ye all.”

“Know that here you are forgiven, as you in your turn forgive.

Go out and care for the poorest, for in you now I live.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

O Jesus, I’m at the bottom — I don’t make any excuse —

But let me lose my life in You, that my life You might use;

And God, in all of Your heaven, save us from that sin,

That tries to lock up Your love in our hearts and won’t let it out again!

Look me up, look me down — I know You love me just as I am.

Let me see through Your eyes every woman and every man.

Don’t let the stained glass windows be as blinders to our eyes;

Let every eye be a window that’s opened to sunrise.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Published in: on October 2, 2007 at 8:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Annunciation

The Annunciation


“Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.

+

What was your cost, O Mary?

A moment’s pause to listen?

Did not the angel bring “Good News”:

A chance to serve, to hasten

God’s will on earth? The Kingdom comes.

What simple words, “Thy will be done”.

+ +

What was your cost, O Mary?

Are ever words that simple?

Can they contain the emptiness,

The knotting in the temples,

When he you love withholds his name,

Rejects your words, retains your shame?

+ + +

What was your cost, O Mary?

Could you foresee the labour?

Does woman ever really choose

To joust with death to savour

A baby’s cry, then, “All is well!”

Is’t worth that cost life to distil?

+ + + +

What was your cost, O Mary?

A heart, sword-pierced and broken?

Time heals some wounds, your Son alone

Makes whole, fulfils word spoken.

How distant though the prophets’ tones,

When darkness falls and hope is drowned.

+ + + + +

What was your cost, O Mary?

Is yours alone the burden?

How many others stand exposed,

No angels, dreams to clothe them?

In others’ eyes they are undone.

What costly words, “Thy will be done.”!

+ + + + + +


©1994 Doug Hayman December 13th, St. Lucy’s Day;

written en route to a Quiet Day at Temple Pastures, Quebec.

[Permission is granted for these words to be reproduced for non-profit use, provided that they are not altered in any way, and that the author is duly credited.]

Published in: on September 8, 2007 at 11:35 am  Leave a Comment  

A HYMN

BARNABAS

© 1999 Doug Hayman

+

Raise up the gift of encouragement

Let not one be lost

To stand again with those who’ve failed;

To love and count no cost:

To bear the wounds of Him who died:

The perfect Sacrifice;

To know that we are not our own

But Yours bought at a price.


+ +


Stir up the embers of the fire,

Fan them into flame.

Holy Spirit make us burn

In witness to Christ’s Name.

To bear the wounds of Him who died:

The perfect Sacrifice;

To know that we are not our own

But Yours bought at a price.


+ + +


Build up the body of Your Son;

Bind us in His Name,

As one in heart and mind and will:

Disciples unashamed

To bear the wounds of Him who died:

The perfect Sacrifice;

To know that we are not our own

But Yours bought at a price.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Published in: on August 25, 2007 at 2:04 am  Leave a Comment