Wild hope #2

Shaped by the wind  (Photo: Irene Bom)

I wonder: What is the relationship between hope and waiting? Maybe Psalm 130 can give us some clues.

Psalm 130 features on a CD called Send us a Friend that I made with Friends and Neighbours in 2013. The song is called “My soul waits for the Lord”. It’s in English and in Dutch. I’ve included a link below.

Psalm 130

A song of ascents.

1  Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
2  Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.

3  If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

5  I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
6  I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.

7  Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
8  He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.

My soul waits for the Lord

My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning
Watchmen for the morning
My soul waits for the Lord.
For with Him there is mercy.
Hope in Him.

Mijn ziel wacht op de Heer
meer dan wachters op de morgen
Wachters op de morgen
Mijn ziel wacht op de Heer
Want bij Hem is genade
Altijd weer.


The Dutch verse came first. It was surprisingly easy to translate into English – all except for the last line, “Altijd weer”.

“Altijd weer” means “every time again – when and as you need God’s mercy”. There’s no 3-syllable way of saying that in English, so eventually I chose “Hope in Him.”

See also Wild hope #1


Wild hope #1

On the coast near Belfast, Northern Ireland (Photo: Irene Bom)

On 25 February (Lent 2) I preached in my home church in Rotterdam. One of the strands of my sermon was about being in “God’s waiting room”, like Abraham and Sarah were.

As part of my sermon I shared this helpful comment from an article by Pete Wilson entitled “The Spiritual Benefits of Waiting”. He writes: “Faithful waiting involves actively seeking contentment, even amid less-than-optimal circumstances.”

Here is a prayer entitled “Waiting” by Jonny Baker that looks to God to help us in the waiting, as he helped countless before us.


As Sarah waited…Ninety years for a son to fulfill God’s promise.
We wait in hope for what we thought had been spoken to us.

As Moses waited…40 years in the desert,
being prepared by God to lead his people.
We wait for emptiness and humility;
for bravado to wither.

As Israel waited…40 years of wandering,
hungry, depressed, thirsting, unsure.
We wait for the right time to act.

As the Prophets waited…1000 years of promises
that God would raise up a Saviour.
We wait for the signs that God has not forgotten.

As Mary waited…9 months of her 14 years for the child of God.
We feel the birth-pains, yet fear for the child.

As John the Baptist waited…
Scanning the crowds for the one whose sandals
he would not be worthy to untie.
We long for an experience of the Divine.

As Jesus waited… 30 years of creeping time.
40 days in the desert of temptation.
3 years of misunderstanding.
3 days in the depths of hell.

So we wait for God’s time.
Preparing the way.
Our turn to toil on leveling mountains
and straightening paths.
Our turn to watch the horizon.
Our turn to pass on the hope
that He who promised is faithful and will come back.

Source: Worship Trick No.67 on Johnny Baker’s Worship Tricks website.

See also blog post For all the saints

Fierce love #2

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Los Angeles  (Photo: Irene Bom)

Here’s a prayer inspired by Genesis 32:24-28, where Jacob wrestles with God.

O Wrestler
contending with us until daybreak,
holding us in the grip of your argument,
grappling with our questions and doubts,
You who strive to deepen us through struggle,
and strengthen us through adversity:
Hold on to us now
in that fierce love that will never let us go.
Bless us, as you name us, as those who have prevailed.

~ posted on Third Space

Go deeper

– follow the Third Space link above for more on Genesis 32:24-28
– see also Fierce love #1

Call of the wild ones

Last year’s clutch of Egyptian goslings behind Rotterdam Central Station

On the eve of Ash Wednesday and a new season of Lent, here is a “wild” poem by Joel McKerrow that I found on the Northumbria Community website.


As the tamed horse
still hears the call of her wild brothers
and as the farmed goose flaps hopeful wings
as his sisters fly overhead,
so too, perhaps,
the wild ones amongst us
are our only hope in calling us back
to our true nature.
Wild ones
who have not been turned to stone
by the far-reaching grasp of the empire
and its programme of consumer sedation,
the killing of imagination.
Where, my friends,
have the wild ones gone?

Joel McKerrow

Can you hear the wild ones calling?

Jesus: ‘Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.’ (Mark 4:9)

More Joel McKerrow

Curious to find out more about Joel McKerrow, I found this youtube video featuring another of his “wild” poems: We Dance Wild by Joel McKerrow

You can find the words to “We dance wild” and some backstory on the Abbey of the Arts website.

Wild animal praise

Sebastião Salgado exhibit, Rotterdam 2017 (Photo: Irene Bom)

This post combines a contemporary take on Psalm 148, written for a “blessing of the animals” service, and the work of Sebastião Salgado, the world-renowned Brazilian photographer, whose exhibition I visited last summer.

Circle of Praise

(inspired by Psalm 148)

All dogs and cats, large and small:
Praise the Lord!
All rabbits, hamsters, and guinea pigs:
Praise the Lord!
All goldfish, guppies, and swimming creatures:
Praise the Lord!
All robins, wrens, and singing birds:
Praise the Lord!
All racoons, squirrels, and deer:
Praise the Lord!
All horses, cows, and sheep:
Praise the Lord!
All lizards, snakes and creeping things:
Praise the Lord!
Every animal in the sky, the sea, and the forest:
Praise the Lord!

~ from “Blessing of the Animals” on the Web of Creation website and sourced from https://re-worship.blogspot.com/


1. The Story of Creation for Child-Like Hearts, an intergenerational story of creation (Genesis 1-2) told in gestures and words, from the Kairos Canada website.

2. More about the Sebastião Salgado Genesis exhibition (15 June to 22 October 2017 in Rotterdam).

3. The trailer for the film “The Salt of the Earth” that filmmaker Wim Wenders made with Salgado. It’s a beautiful testimony to how reconnecting with nature can restore our souls.

4. TED-talk, ‘The Silent Drama of Photography’, given by Salgado in 2013.

Fierce love #1


With Lent almost upon us, the theme for February is “wild”, as a precursor to a Lent-inspired theme for March: “wilderness”.

Here is a prayer by Bruce Prewer that touches on various dimensions of God’s love, including its fierceness, standing up for victims of wrong.

A prayer

God of all things seen and unseen, if you had insulated yourself from the pain of the world, then your name could not be love and our condition would be without hope. Thank you for being so personally involved, for revealing your complete commitment in Jesus of Nazareth. Through him we pray with hope, in him we pray with love.

Let your healing love be known this day by all who suffer ailment of body, or distress of mind, or agony of spirit.
     Please reveal your compassion,
     Loving God, bring wholeness to all.

Let your intimate love be known today by all who feel forgotten or lost, and all who are walking in the dark valley of despair.
     Please reveal your compassion,
     Loving God, bring wholeness to all.

Let your fierce love this day redress the wrongs of all who suffer exploitation, injustice, abuse, neglect, violence or unwarranted imprisonment.
     Please reveal your compassion,
      Loving God, bring wholeness to all.

Let your nurturing love today encourage those who are gathering resolve to make tough decisions, take on new responsibilities, or break free from some bondage.
     Please reveal your compassion,
     Loving God, bring wholeness to all.

Let your relentless love this day upset congregations that have become self-centred or even contemptuous of other churches.
     Please reveal your compassion,
     Loving God, bring wholeness to all.

Let your reconciling love today gather together the separated Christians, and make them aware of the fellowship and mission of the one, universal body of Christ.
     Please reveal your compassion,
     Loving God, bring wholeness to all.

Let your inspiring love this day rejuvenate pastors, priests and prophets who have become weary to the very roots of their souls.
     Please reveal your compassion,
     Loving God, bring wholeness to all.

Thank you for hearing us, most loving God. With the whole body of believers in time and eternity, we want to love, praise and serve you, today and evermore. Through Christ Jesus your true Son. Amen!

— written by Bruce Prewer, and posted on Bruce Prewer’s website. http://www.bruceprewer.com/