Walking on, simply, in faith

(Herman Andriessen)

Keeping courage, just going on,
if you can.
And if you can’t go on, no more,
or taking a rest with a friend,
if there is one.
And, if there isn’t,
waiting anyhow, – alone – waiting until you feel up to it again:
some time soon.
Simply going on, taking the road
as it comes
the good and the bad;
your eyes a lamp
that lights your body.
Doing what needs doing.
Giving answers if there are any.
And, meanwhile,
feeling your poles tap the ground,
not looking back too much – perhaps a few times,
for the road runs straight through your heart – not looking back too often,
nor looking forward too much.
Simply going on and knowing:
this road is not the be all and end all,
and it isn’t of this world alone.
Seeing the clouds drifting across the sky
from an eternal distance – who drew their boundaries? – and feeling your heart beating in
on the eternal hills – who founded them? – and seeing
the silence of things…
where they border on
the Eternal…


(Nico Siebel)

Sometimes I am like
one of the men of Emmaus
I walk along
with other people
we share the pain and struggle
we don’t understand life
lost in our own thoughts
we only see the dark

and suddenly
as promised
there is his Spirit
living in us
he brings up
the words in us
words of courage and strength
even victory
we remember
what Jesus said
the dark clouds lift
we travel on
with light hearts
light on our feet
full of joy
telling others
that he lives!

Walking makes the soul talk

(Lon van den Akker)

In those days, when my attempts at praying once more failed and match after match broke as I was trying to light the candle of prayer, it so happened that you showed me a walking boot and said:
“Look, a prayer. When you wear this boot, I will carry you if you carry me in your heart. I like being in your heart and you need no words or images for it. Don’t be afraid to put your trust in the words of prayers, even if their original promise was not made to you.
Just look at this boot: it was not made by you, but by others who gave the leather the right fit with the help of a last and a hammer. If you walk with the same intention, I will turn every step into a word of a prayer, each forest trail will be a sentence, and each walk a page.”

Passable Ground

(Ellen van Dam)

Where you put your footsteps
Ground appears
Where you put your footsteps together with others
Ground becomes passable
The ground will carry you
You can go on your way
Your searching feet will guide you.

With your well-filled backpack
You don’t need to be afraid
of difficult terrain
Dry land will become visible
By talking with the others
You need not be afraid
In your own way you will find the place where you belong
Where light is born
And the earth has adorned itself with young, green grass.

“Walking hour”

(Bart Ypma)

A glassy glance
through the window
a hazy view
along the smoke screen
a lovely view
of the landscape
a resisting doorpost
one more step
an angular trip
down the stairs
the front door open
nature now
a twisty path
walking hour

Called outside

(Anselm Grün)

I put my walking boots on
pack my backpack
make tea and sandwiches
say goodbye
to home
to what has become dear to me
I am afraid
of the unknown
I shrink back from the challenge
I have doubts about the right way
I miss maps
and road signs.
setting off
on Your word
leaving the city behind me
being prepared
to go my way with You
and yet trust
great trust
and protest and surrender
I give myself to You
I will go with you
I let go and
hold on to You
I join in
and let go
I am prepared
because You are holding me
I am willing
because You are calling me

Enduring the emptiness

(Enduring the emptiness)

of your fear and uncertainty
of your anguish and want
of your loss and handicap
of your doubting and not knowing

The emptiness of lacking all
security and solid ground regarding
your work
your health
your choices in life
your life
your God

Enduring the emptiness even if…
you feel drained of strength,
you seek shelter in hesitation,
self-reproach and guilt;
you are in your own way,
the world escapes you
and life is slipping through your fingers,
restlessness and bitterness are growing within you,
weakness or desolation are paralyzing you.

Enduring the emptiness: wanting nothing,
just ‘letting be’;
not surrendering to fate
not being rigid with fear
but just ‘letting be’;
like a tree in winter
that loses all its leaves
yet is nurturing new life already;
like the ocean that is constantly moving from high tide to low tide
and yet never loses.

Enduring the emptiness and believing
that every crisis is a moment of growth
and every pain a pain that brings growth.

Enduring the emptiness and believing:
every darkness is the shady side of light
and in each silence
the sound of life can be heard.