Triquetra (symbol of the Trinity) in pastel colours against a dark background. Text: Three haikus on the Trinity. Faith in Grey Places

Three haikus on the Trinity (a poem)

It’s said that it’s hard to pack anything of substance into such a short poetry form. (Haikus are a Japanese type of poem with three lines. The first has five syllables, the second seven, and the third five.) To be sure, it’s not easy, but it can be done. 

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Abstract water image with browns and oranges streaming downwards a little like the surface of Jupiter. Text: The fire of day 50 (a poem for Pentecost) Faith in Grey Places (16x9)

The fire of day 50: a poem for Pentecost (with pictures)

It’s been a few weeks since Pentecost, but I felt this site needs some more poems about the Holy Spirit. One a year is not enough. Having now learned a little Ancient Greek, I took inspiration from some observations I had while reading Acts 2:1–4.

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Small ceramic goblet filled with wine on a wooden platform. Text over the top: The God who saves (a poem). Faith in Grey Places

The God who saves (a poem)

Partly inspired by my Hebrew studies, I’m writing 12 poems inspired by 12 Hebrew verbs.

The verb ישׁע / yasha is indirectly familiar to many Christians because it’s the root of names like Joshua and Jesus, both of which mean ‘the LORD saves.’ (Hence Gabriel’s instruction to Joseph: “you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21 NIV)

There are some interesting things I learned here. 

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Heavenly picture of the bright morning sun over the sea with pale blue skies and wispy white clouds, and birds flying overhead. Text over the top: The God who sits (a poem). Faith in Grey Places

The God who sits (a poem)

Partly inspired by my Hebrew studies, I’m writing 12 poems inspired by 12 Hebrew verbs.

A few weeks ago, I sat down to map out which Hebrew verbs I would write poems on for the remaining weeks of this 12-part series. They had to be words I’d learned over the last year and, obviously, not the same as the verbs I’d already covered. So far, we’ve had poems on stand, provide, shine, build, give voice, create, cease [rest] and form; the remaining weeks were to be: sit, dwell, appoint, reign. 

There was, however, a slight flaw in this plan. 

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Close up of a person's fingers holding a lump of clay about to shape it. Text over the top: The God who forms (a poem). Faith in Grey Places

The God who forms (a poem) (with pictures)

Partly inspired by my Hebrew studies, I’m writing 12 poems inspired by 12 Hebrew verbs.

Yes, it’s Monday. It’s also a bank holiday here in the UK and so I decided not to pressure myself into sending out something yesterday. 

But if I’m honest, the real reason is that this poem was really hard to write. It’s based on the verb יצר / yatsar, which means to “form” or to “shape.” In many ways it’s a concrete version of the verb ברא / bara which means to “create” and which I wrote a poem about a few weeks ago (available here). 

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A black bird perches in a ruined stone window opening as the morning light falls on the stones; in the distance mist covers the hills. Words over the top "The God who ceases (a poem)" Faith in Grey Places

The God who ceases (a poem) (with pictures)

Partly inspired by my Hebrew studies, I’m writing 12 poems inspired by 12 Hebrew verbs.

I was feeling particularly groggy this weekend (hence this post is late), so I thought I’d look at the verb to rest. It’s an easy one, being שׁבת / shavat, andsharing the same root as the word ‘Sabbath’.

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Picture of night sky with purple tint, showing stars and galaxies. Words over the top: The God who creates (a poem). Faith in Grey Places.

The God who creates (a poem)

Partly inspired by my Hebrew studies, I’m writing 12 poems inspired by 12 Hebrew verbs.

Today the verb I’m looking at is ברא / bara. It means to create, but unlike other Hebrew words for forming, making or doing, bara is a theological term. The subject is invariably God. 

That is, only God creates. 

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Large criss-crossing wooden beams lit up by sunlight. Text over the top: The God who builds. Faith in Grey Places

The God who builds (a poem)

Partly inspired by my Hebrew studies, I’m writing 12 poems inspired by 12 Hebrew verbs.

This week I’ve chosen to write on the Hebrew verb בּנה / banah (the ‘a’ vowels are both long). I became curious about this verb because it reminds me of the Hebrew word for son: בֵּן / bein. It was almost as if there was an association between building up one’s house and having sons. 

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Low sunlight in the background lighting up a flower in the foreground. Text over the top: The God who shines (a poem)

The God who shines (a poem) (with pictures)

Partly inspired by my Hebrew studies, I’m writing 12 poems inspired by 12 Hebrew verbs.

Today the verb I’m looking at is אוֹר / or (it’s pronounced just like the English words “or” and “awe”). Depending on the stem, it can mean to be/become light/bright, to be illumined, or to give light.

I first came across this word when I heard a song in Hebrew based on Isaiah 60: arise, shine, your light has come. I learned the words, “Kumi, ori” and I couldn’t help but think of the word ‘orient’ and the sun rising in the East. Ironically, the Latin root of the English word, oriri, isn’t to do with shining but rather rising. (And if you’re joining the dots: yes, kumi is the same word Jesus uses when he raises Jairus’ daughter).

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