The Faceless Woman

Saturday afternoon. Miserably bleak.
Incomplete mundane tasks creep upon me;
fuel gauge beeps, warning lights flash.
Fuel station! Reluctantly I pull in.
Frustration looms and I wait,
as she stops me in my tracks.

I fail to see this faceless woman in my hotheadedness.
At least I don’t really see her and her need;
the pain and upset which she bears are also invisible.
Do I even want to see such brokenness?
Much easier to ignore, or rather simply not address.
Yet, as if prompted, I get out of the car
to draw closer to the bereavement of which we never speak.

Her agitation is plain. That I see.
Yet I don’t see, she is faceless to me.
‘It won’t work,’ cries her despair.
Indeed something is wrong, it needs fixing…
‘no…I must go to London,’
she whispers. What a nightmare.

Finished I bid ‘take care and drive safely.’
And then I see her, this faceless woman;
old, frail, weary and distressed.
Embodiment of human brokenness,
and yet beautiful in her
vulnerability, exposed.

For this faceless woman, her unnamed grief, I feel compassion
as never before – it brings me to my knees.
Evident in my eyes, she seeks to claim it for her own;
she flings her arms around me and we embrace.
This moment, like a sacrament, shows us God’s unending grace.
On release, we look at each other anew
God’s love brims over for the other, we turn and leave transformed.

Otherness

#436 We had the very great pleasure of having @RevRachelMann speak to us this week. She is a truly #inspiring #speaker and #poet who has really made me think about how #powerful well-crafted words are…as well as the importance of telling our stories to effect #change. She encouraged us to think about #otherness and #congruence in our future churches, as well as society more widely, and the difficulties with being ‘other’. How do we treat those who are ‘other’? How do those of us who are ‘other’ deal with our own otherness?