Lent day 5 with Tearfund

Today, please use this devotion as your 7pm prayer focus. Many have received this devotion from Tearfund and will be praying with you.

A new light arrives

‘Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.’ (Psalm 30:5)

Today’s devotion isn’t quite going to be what was planned. The content for this series was written before recent events shook the world.

I think we’ve all been shocked and disturbed and upset by what’s happening in Ukraine right now. It’s certainly affected me. My great grandparents were refugees from Ukraine. They fled persecution in the early part of the 20th century. And now a million more refugees are running for their lives. And of course violent conflict is a plague in so many places around the world. It can be hard to know how to respond.

The plan for these Sunday devotions was to share a poem. To have it as a kind of Sabbath Day – where we can just spend time with the words and soak in God’s presence.

The poem I was planning on sharing today is about hope. And I wondered whether this was still appropriate. But then I thought, what could be more appropriate? The situation in Ukraine seems kind of hopeless. So many situations, globally and in our own lives, can seem hopeless.

But we hope anyway. Because hope is a choice. One that we always have. And it is a choice today that is rooted in truth – the truth that hate can’t win. Love wins. Hope wins. So, we’re going to share this short poem about hope. And we’ll keep sharing these devotions as we planned to – because we choose to, because the truths of the gospel never change, and because it’s in the darkness that those truths shine brightest.

Read the poem slowly. Ask God to speak to you through it. And let’s declare hope over the world.

A new light arrives

Buried in the night,
anxious thoughts crowded darkly
around me.

The last thing I expect
is a miracle;
the last thing I anticipate is God
riding the dawn.

But then,
like the only answer we ever need,
a new light arrives,
splashing grace-paint
on the worn-out canvas of my heart,

and all of a sudden
hope is running along the tops of the trees
and rampant.

Gideon Heugh
Gideon writes for Tearfund and is a poet and environmentalist.
Poem is © Gideon Heugh, taken from Rumours of Light.

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