“And looking up to heaven, he sighed deeply and said, “Ephphatha, which means be opened.”” Mark 7:34
In the night hush, zephyr lingers caressing the boy awake sleepily, he peers through the invisible stained glass longing to hear the hymn of the sea that echoes amidst the tree's canopy The tree aches to give what the boy must choose wooden limbs cocoon the seed for the-one-not-yet-of-age quietly, waiting in anticipation for the boy's conception of painted hands that reflect the hands that formed them Seeds planted long ago with dirt fingernails the gardener's hands fashioned the boy and wood from dust and dirt the soul and earth's womb tenderly tilled in anticipation for the boy and tree's inception of his fruit The weathered hands gently cup the two seeds the-artist-of-every-creature softly breathes on them sealing his longing with a signet kiss the mist germinates the seeds, giving life to the boy and the tree and the dew of ephphatha imprints home The tree knows, he carries the weight of the-artist-who-formed-him from dirt the roots ache with the knowledge his limbs will be dragged to Golgotha to bear the nails of the bloodied hands that gave him life But the twofold promise of the tree also shadows the seed of the boy's longing for the-one-he-longs-for the father's exhaled promise for the boy shelters in the tree cradling the inhaled revelation of the artist's hands Ring upon ring, the tree strengthens fired sap coursing through its veins giving sweet delight to those who remain still to hear the sound of the honey and taste the tree's manna Season after season, the tree inches to heaven waiting for the-boy-who-longs-to-paint to see the tree carved by the carpenter with enough wood to carry both the father and the son, home Zephyr curls off the water, collecting the boy's salted tears discarded along the shore each sorrow gently placed in his sacred bottle the tears mix with the son's fired blood a holy water baptism compressed in each drop of the father's mercy too deep to know The tree stands sentinel, the appointed time has come his limbs gently lift the boy, holding him near, to hear heaven's roar of the sea zephyr opens the ear to hear the painted-spit whisper: ephphatha The son opens his hands to receive the father's brush who painted him with the same stick that stirs the paint within him the veiled canvas gently reveals vision, to see the three The artist spills his painted blood colour streams into the boy who receives the very paint that turns the season of the tree into kairos with a deep sigh, the boy inhales the artist's exhaled ephphatha zephyr opens the boy's longing to paint home With the imprint of his father's hands line upon line he pours out the paint the reservoir of colour overflows from deep within with the father's stick, he paints each line wooing him to the space, he stills Borderland, the space between where longings meet the father's waiting room where he quietly lingers with arms open The sabbath space the gift of borderland where in communion with the son, zephyr rests as the father longingly waits for his son to paint his way home
“While the son was a long way off, the father ran to his son, and threw his arms around him and kissed him.” Luke 15:20
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8
And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. – Matthew 24:31.
The trumpeters stand poised, on the edge of the field, waiting for his commissioning. The birthed few linger in anticipation for the Holy One’s nod to release the sound.
“Who are they?” I inquire.
Gabriel whispers, “They are the messengers.”
The sent ones wait patiently for the Ephphatha dew that opens the ones to behold. The restrained alarm waits for the few who ready for what is to become. The middle space of temporal time transitions into the fullness of unity and the tick-tock of waiting from one to the other prepares the ear to hear the new sound.
Those who contend in the waiting of time are those prepared to stay awake on His battlefield.
The wind hovers waiting to seize and carry the messages of the trumpeters to those, who in the waiting, have trained their ear for war. The trumpeters stand ready, to tap out Heaven’s Morse code to the earth’s few who hear the wind’s whispered call of Ephphatha.
The enemy takes aim at the trumpeters, hoping to silence the signallers on the edge of the battlefield. He quietly waits to intercept and deflect the new sound so that those who slumber miss the trumpeter’s plea.
For without the trumpeters who will hear Heaven’s battle cry for war?
“All the lands are at rest and at peace, they break into singing. Isaiah 14:7”
The Christmas Truce of 1914 during the First World War is a profound legacy of Peace, as foe greeted friend with hymns of Silent Night, Holy Night.
Hosanna rang out from the sacred trumpet as the Star of Bethlehem hovered over no-man’s land beckoning comrades to follow it. Laying down their weapons, they arose from the trenches bearing gifts of food, trench art, and smokes. In holy silence, brothers marched towards the space that once divided them.
“Peace, be with you!” “And also with you!”
Halleluiah! Halleluiah! A hallowed night indeed as good will toward men echoed in the trenches. The Christmas Truce of 1914; a holy reminder of our Canadian Forces as we pray, “Thank you for our nations Peace.” Halleluiah!
Peace my friends, Merry Christmas! Jane.
Called to stand with those who serve.
The sack-clothed glory readies in the womb as wailing women give voice to its imminent arrival.
“EX INTIMIS VISCERIBUS MISERICORDIA COMMOVEOR!”
His womb aches for a resting place but there is no room in the sanctuary. The marketplace hustles and bustles in anticipation of the Harvest Census but buyers and sellers dismiss the value of the fertilized seed. The merchants know there is no margin in a fruit freely given.
There is movement in the womb. The fruit is ripe, saturated for birth, and the midwifery stones wail in anticipation. His eyes dart to and fro longing for labourers empty enough to bear the olive-pressed fruit.
It is the ninth hour.
Splagchnon makes room for the ache of His womb. The cry of Nineveh transitions through the blue penciled line between the seen and the unseen. The membrane of silence shatters with the final push:
The divine dew pink with the blood spews forth. A longing so deep, it overflows from the heart of Him into the humble who long to give. The ring of fire sears those who bear the Gethsemane twinned fruit. Compassion and mercy are named. The swaddled fruit whimper, still tender from the birth. Incubated in the shadow, they wait for the Father to make room. The Lord of Hosts raises his sword and cries out:
The yielded sword, sever unholy alliances that stop the flow. The beloved is pruned and those who do not succumb to the sword are driven from the sanctuary. The Father of Mercy reclaims His key and unlocks Sanctum Sanctorum; its counterfeit is hurled into the fire. A tear trickles down his cheek as He surveys the lost multitude huddled in the secret place. Moved with compassion, He raises his sickle and whispers:
“I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy,
I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”
The eyes of the heart reveal the wisdom of His fruit. Travailing at Gethsemane precedes the entrusting of the precious multitude. Ichabod remains constipated but humility opens loins that long to be moved. Compassion pushes out judgement and mercy boomerangs back blessing those who bless. The twinned fruit bear more fruit. Preaching, teaching and healing become the heirs of compassion; kindness and forgiveness are begotten of mercy.
Compassion and mercy restore the breach that wall the cubed ember. The repaired rampart protects the flame and the newly polished pearl illuminates the way. Hand in hand, nations return to the square drawn by the brilliance of the Lamb. On bended knee, they drink from the chalice of the river that roars from the fire. Ha’etz is shared and in communion, they eat the fullness of the fruit tree. The agony of the garden that birthed the fruit, blossoms into leaves that heal Gethsemane. Glory and honour take their place; the rear guard fruits of compassion and mercy.
The root rises to kiss the star as the twelve watchmen position at the gates. At the sound of the trumpet, in unity the Sentinel Host cries out for Nineveh:
Holy, Holy, Holy,
Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
“But when he saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them…” Matthew 9:36
The feast of the seagulls hovers over no-man’s land waiting for the unprepared to strike the first blow.
Foolish men of war help themselves to heavens armoury and with unknown arrogance they assume the knowledge of instruction on how to wield them. They sharpen tools for the vintage wrath of the King while the humble quietly empty their hands.
The meek know the power of the sword and who bears the weight of it.
The visible bride veils the true bride as she readies in the sanctuary. A purity set apart prepares her while the foolish flaunt the tools of their destruction.
In peace, the humble shall inherit borderland because they go forth not. They wait in the shadow of the King as heaven releases the almighty host for war.
At the sound of the trumpet, God’s army thunders across borderland while men of war charge into the enemy’s ambush. The angelic host cries out:
Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus Dominus Deus sabbaoth.
Pleni sunt caeli et terra gloria tua.
Hosanna in Excelsis.
Benedictus qui venit in nomine domini. Hosanna in Excelsis.
With shield and sickle, the harvest begins; and in peace, the meek inherit borderland.
…the birds will feed on those who die in the country. 1 Kings 21:24
“He marks out the horizon on the face of the waters for a boundary between light and darkness.” Job 26:10
The middle space of war narrows to a hairline fracture as kingdoms prepare for war. The borderland kingdom of God is here. We camp on the edge of war, and in borderland discernment speaks.
Glory readies to shatter earth’s glass ceiling, slicing the veiled invisible. Holy smoke trickles up through the cracked glass beckoning thy kingdom down. Bleeding hands stretch up through the cracks in want of the shield and the white stones of peace.
The dim glass clouds the seer as he struggles to discern what his heart sees. Invisible leaks light to visible as the convergence of kingdoms bleed out the line that marks borderland.
In communion of shields we ready for war and with faith cupped hands we release the white pebbles of peace at borderland.
“He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat.” Psalm 47:14
Borderland – land located on or near a frontier or boundary, an indeterminate region
Kingdom Borderland – the spiritual frontier located between the visible and the invisible