The Rev Dr James McPherson


most nights this year
have found me weeping
at the television news

tonight, the rescue workers
probe the Christchurch rubble
a perfect sunset for their backdrop

a mystery, stubborn and unyielding:
how can nature's laws sustain all our living
yet herd us to our deaths?

for all my years I'm wiser
only in gauging my un-wisdom
and taking to heart the Enigmatic One

who must first be loved
to be glimpsed weeping
with those who weep

who bids me recall how
when three years old
I'd run barefoot on clover lawn

until a bee sting made me run
tearfully to Mother who would draw it
and wash its pain away with Dolly Blue

so when I fall to mortal sting
I can trust the Enigmatic One
to extract it skilfully

with pierced hands
and wash its pain away
with his most gentle holding


The Christchurch earthquake struck at 12.51pm Tuesday 22 February 2011, measuring 6.3 on the Richter Scale.  The following Sunday was the Eighth Sunday after Epiphany, and Psalm 131 was appointed in the Revised Common Lectionary (1992).

(c) Revd James M McPherson
Maryborough, Queensland

and with grateful thanks for my time at Vaughan Park Anglican Retreat Centre 2008