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the elusive one

Sunday, 21 November 2021  | Charles Ringma


you have never appeared

with an unambiguous clarity.


always the sudden appearing

leaving us awed and wondering.


always the whisper of the spirit

and the flap of angel wings.


always the unsettling dream

and the irruption of an inner voice.


always a hint and a gentle nudge

and the task to understand its meaning.


even the word lies mute

until you energise it.


and in the institutions we have made in your name

you seldom seem to appear.


why so elusive, o god,

of creation and incarnation?


you want to be known

and yet you are so hidden.

do you want me to make some sense of this,

or do i just accept your strange ways?


do you have some purpose in the

unknowability of your mystery and your revelation?


are you, in fact, guarding yourself

from the way we might handle and package you?


a wise move, i think,

if you don’t mind me saying so.


best that you stay out of our reach,

we will surely make you less than you are.


Charles Ringma has taught in universities, seminaries and colleges in Asia, Australia and Canada. He is Emeritus Professor Regent College, Vancouver, Canada. His recent publications are Hear the Ancient WisdomSabbath Time and Chase Two Horses.


Photo credit: ‘Light in the Darkness’ captured at Newtown Mission Uniting Church (Sydney) by Tim Everist, 2021.

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