Making, making, making


Back story

I shared a version of this poem during the Away Day I led at the Scots Kirk, Lausanne earlier this month. It was so well received the group decided to include it in our presentation during Sunday worship the following day.

I’ve since made contact with the author, Wendy Videlock, and got permission to share it with you too. (Thanks, Erica, for giving me the idea.)

You can hear Wendy Videlock reading the poem on Emerging Form Podcast #51 (from 13:30).


On Hearing Yet Another Someone Say
they Haven’t Got a Creative Bone in their Body

And yet you’ve spent your entire life
creating — you’ve spent your life
                 making —
making dinner, making drinks,
making fire, making
the cut, making amends,
making fun,
making the team,
making money, making

of lemons, yes — we spend
our whole lives making —
making decisions,
making peace,
making war,
making mistakes,
making a call, making some
               of sense of it all —

we can’t help but spend our lives making,
       making music, making choices,
making strides, making up

for lost time,
making hay, making haste,
making promises and progress,
making love, making
history, making
predictions, making
productions, making

of the situation,

we make space,
we make friends,
we make magic, we make trouble,
we make mountains

out of molehills,

we make tea,
we make tracks,
we make use, we make do,
we make way, we make curds,
we make words, we make waves
we make meaning —
       we are born

into this world and are made

(when we’re not humans being)

for making, making, making.

~ from Wise to the West by Wendy Videlock, used with permission


Wait … strong, courageous, stubborn


Whatever befall, I know this for sure:
      I shall see the goodness of the Lord
            in the land of the living.

So wait for the Lord;
      be strong, be courageous, be stubborn;
      but wait for the Lord.

excerpt from Psalm 27
from The Lincoln Psalter by the poet, Gordon Jackson

From the blog
Change from the inside out
Grow how?
Big strong tree

Inspired by trees


A poem


Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

by David Wagoner, from Traveling Light: Collected and New Poems

Also inspired by trees

The children’s book, The Boy Who Grew a Forest (based on a true story).

Youtube video on how to make paper growing trees (from illustrator of The Boy Who Grew a Forest)

Article from about Ursula K. Le Guin’s Love Poem to Trees, also featuring some stunning artwork.

From the blog

Winter = long nights
Flowers fall, but …
Tree of life

He walks the earth

Discarded (or misplaced) working boots   (Photo: Irene Bom)


God empties himself
into the earth like a cloud.
God takes the substance, contours
of a man, and keeps them,
dying, rising, walking,
and still walking
wherever there is motion.

excerpt from the poem, “Feast days”, by Annie Dillard
published in Tickets for a Prayer Wheel

More Annie Dillard
The Holy Other

3 Prayers of lament

(Photo: Irene Bom)

To complement the many psalms of lament and your own ‘wordless sighs’ and ‘aching groans’ (Romans 8:26, MSG), here are three short prayers of lament to try on for size … to pray for yourself, or on behalf of someone else.



Heart of my shattered heart,
who will soothe the buried lament?
Who will pour oil on the biting pang
that never dies
Christ, do you hear the words held back?
You are there, a love most healing.
~ written by Brother Roger of Taize,
from The Book of a Thousand Prayers by Angela Ashwin, #223


Lord Jesus,
many of us are waiting for you:
the war-torn are waiting for peace,
the hungry are waiting for bread.
the refugees are waiting for a homeland,
the sick are waiting for healers.
Have you forgotten us?
O Lord, come quickly, we pray.
~ written by Bruce Prewer, posted on


Lord of my darkest place:
Let in your light.

Lord of my greatest fear:
Let in your peace.

Lord of my most bitter shame:
Let in your word of grace.

Lord of my oldest grudge:
Let in your forgiveness.

Lord of my deepest anger:
Let it out.

Lord of my loneliest moment:
Let in your presence.

Lord of my truest self – my all:
Let in your wholeness.
~ written by Alison Pepper,
from The Book of a Thousand Prayers by Angela Ashwin, #283

Prayer poem for Lent 4B : Talk about it
This prayer poem is inspired by Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22, in particular verse 2a: “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story …

From the blog
3 Prayers for Lent
3 Prayers while waiting
3 Prayers for refugees


Always speak the truth even if your voice shakes  (Photo: Irene Bom)


To introduce this month’s theme of SORROW, an excerpt from the Foreward by Eugene Peterson published in Michael Card’s book, A Sacred Sorrow.

And if you want to try writing your own psalm of lament, check out the links below.

On weeping

Eugene Peterson writes,

It’s an odd thing. Jesus wept. Job wept. David wept. Jeremiah wept. They did it openly. Their weeping became a matter of public record. Their weeping, sanctioned by inclusion in our Holy Scriptures, a continuing and reliable witness that weeping has an honored place in the life of faith.

But just try it yourself. Even, maybe especially, in church where these tear soaked Scriptures are provided to shape our souls and form our behaviour. Before you know it, a half dozen men and women surround you with handkerchiefs, murmuring reassurances, telling you that it is going to be alright, intent on helping you to “get over it.”

Why are Christians, of all people, embarrassed by tears, uneasy in the presence of sorrow, unpracticed in the language of lament? It certainly is not a biblical heritage, for virtually all our ancestors in the faith were thoroughly “acquainted with grief.” And our Savior was, as everyone knows, “a Man of Sorrows.”

source: A Sacred Sorrow by Michael Card, p.11

Compose your own Psalm of Lament

During a recent episode of The Habit Podcast, David O. Taylor describes how we might write our own psalm of lament.

To find out more, go to and/or listen to the podcast episode.

Prayer poem for Lent 3B : Sweet words
This prayer poem is inspired by Psalm 19, in particular verse 14: “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Broken spirit sacrifice

Bridge railings reflected  (Photo: Irene Bom)

Psalm 51:16-17 invites us to pray, to sigh, to sing:

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
      you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
      a broken and contrite heart
      you, God, will not despise.

Add to this prayer your prayers for the broken of this world, inspired by this litany written by John Birch.

A litany

For those whose lives are broken by distress
May the God of healing restore you

For those whose lives are broken by fear
May the God of healing restore you

For those whose lives are broken by anger
May the God of healing restore you

For those whose lives are broken by pain
May the God of healing restore you

For those whose lives are broken by illness
May the God of healing restore you

For those whose lives are broken by sin
May the God of healing restore you

God of healing
gently touch these lives
with your Spirit
Bring warmth and comfort
life and wholeness
into fractured lives
and souls

~ written by John Birch, and posted on

Prayer poem for Lent 2B : Not forsaken
This prayer poem is inspired by Psalm 22:23-31, in particular verse 24:
For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.


Yield as sacrifice

Frosty winter morning  (Photo: Irene Bom)

Prayer of Confession

God, penetrate those murky corners where we hide memories,
and tendencies on which we do not care to look,
but which we will not yield freely to you,
that you might purify and transmute them.
The persistent buried grudge,
the half-acknowledged enmity which is still smouldering;
the bitterness of that loss we have not turned into sacrifice,
the private comfort we cling to,
the secret fear of failure which saps our initiative
     and is really inverted pride;
the pessimism which is an insult to your joy.

Lord, we bring all these to you,
and we review them with shame and penitence
in your steadfast light.

Through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen!

written by Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), posted on re:worship

More Evelyn Underhill


Prayer poem for Lent 1B : Not unless
I wrote this prayer poem last Saturday during an online creative retreat hosted by United Adoration. It is inspired by the psalm set for the first Sunday in Lent, Year B: Psalm 25:1-10.

I will try and write a prayer poem each week as part of my Lenten practice this year and include a link in the blog post. Let me know it you would like to join me and write prayer poems too. Writing prayer poems in community is such a treat.
More on writing prayer poems

Joseph and Mary: A Poem


I wrote this poem in 2007, during my third year of training for the ministry. I probably wrote it in transit, on the train to or from my day job as a software developer.

The poem is a conversation between Mary and Joseph as he grapples with the implications of her decision to say yes to God’s plan.

I do hope, like Mary, you find support from the significant others in your life when you say yes to God’s plan for you. We cannot do it alone.


Joseph and Mary

by Irene Bom

How could you agree
When there’s so much at stake?

My-beloved-is-mine potentially,
Reckless it may be,
But the risk is mine to take.

Are you insane, Mary?
What did the angel say to sway you?

Such wisdom, it’s agony.
I glimpsed the future briefly.
He said dreams are coming true.

What am I to do, tell me?
I had my hopes pinned on a quiet life.

I don’t determine your destiny,
But the load is heavy.
It would be easier to carry if I’m your wife.

Your mind is clearly
Made up, and I have no say.

I’m dazzled, I’m dazed, I can see
I’m an embryonic community.
Join us, embrace the future. Stay.

From the blog
Prepare = action
God loves stories
Theme: Called into community  [prayer sheet]

Healed from the inside out

Rome  (Photo: Irene Bom)

I recently bought a book of poetry by Bonnie Thurston called, Practicing Silence, and have been dipping into it as a kind of spiritual practice. You have to slow down and savour the words. You can’t rush it.

Here’s the poem that inspired this month’s theme, “Healing”.

Inside out

On the face of it
all appears well,
but mostly wounds
are deep beyond reckoning.
As in surgery
the surface heals,
but in subcutaneous depths
resides an awful, jagged maw
into which one
must eventually walk,
sit down, wait for what
only waiting accomplishes:
victory over restlessness
conquering the urge to control;
acceptance of utter helplessness
inviting help’s arrival.
We are all healed
in passive voice
and from the inside out.

~ by Bonnie Thurston, from Practicing Silence: New and Selected Verses, p. 74

From the blog
The Spirit does wonders
Testing ground
In the school of prayer with Anselm