unknown person holding brown and black textile
Bob Wilson at Unsplash

No cosmetic conceit by the knots worn

Each strand of fringe a commandment borne

Reminders of a covenant made

A chosen people marked by the tallit displayed

And as it donned with accompanying prayer

The heart of wearer for G-d’s presence prepares


dVerse: Edges and Fringes

The Find

CCC #108

Millions of leaves, miles of trail, and hundreds of hikers and dogwalkers, but it was my nosey mutt that made the discovery. I guess it shouldn’t have been a surprise though, if anyone or any thing was going to find a broken tennis racket it was going to be my dog. I should have known better than to have named him Baghdatis.


CCC #108



Walter had never been much for intangible things. He was a hands-on kind of guy, and years of working as a plumber had taught him how to solve problems.

It was three years after he retired that his vision started to go, and being a self-reliant fellow he resisted his wife, Evie’s suggestions that he go to the opticians for glasses. As the blurring got worse, he finally gave in.

What he didn’t realise was that his sight had been less than perfect for much longer than he had thought. The new specs really made a difference, and before long he had taken to reading pretty much whatever he could put his hands on.

Then he found the family Bible. Before he knew it, he had reached the Book of Isaiah. The entire thing enthralled him. There were stories and ideas far beyond what he had considered before.

It was on his sixty-eighth birthday that he reached the book of John, and those glasses must have been something special, because on that day his life had clarity.

(177 words)


Flash Fiction

Nailed to the Cross


Pastor Joe drew his Resurrection Day reflections on the importance of the cross.  While his starting premise was a solid standard reading of the Gospel account of the crucifixion, he took his message in a powerful direction.

Reflecting on Galatians 5:24 (“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”), Brother Joe gave us a wonderful personal testimony of where he was when he returned to God.

What I found the most moving was his visually powerful demonstration of the transformational power of the cross.  He used a large wooden cross and upon it nailed tags with “the old self” tendencies on them.   Words which many can relate such as Anxiety, Fear, Lust, and Death, were systematically (literally) and symbolically nailed to the cross.

But this act of illustration had yet another twist.  Brother Joe then reminded us that the old self died on the cross with Jesus, and with His triumph we were transformed.  He then flipped the tags to read such things as Peace, Righteousness, and Life.

We are indeed alive and transformed by the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, and by the hope and glory of His resurrection three days later.  What a timely reminder on Easter Day, that the triumph over death is a triumph to all aspects of the old lost self.

Let each of us remember that today.




Water Under The Bridge



Photo Credit: C.E. Ayr

It wasn’t much of a flow.  It was shallow, with swans gliding in the bridge’s lee.  It was what it represented that mattered.  It was the border, and it was a divide, even if only for road traffic.

He stood and watched the water as it quickened in the channels between the pilings.  What had his mother always said? “Water under the bridge;” that was it.  He had always taken it as a reassuring statement.  Didn’t it mean, “The past is the past, just let it go,” but now he was unsure.

Watching the water, he could see that while it does move on, there is always more to replace it.  The waters keep coming, you just can’t let the waters go.

“Are life’s past failings the same way?  Are our mistakes doomed to repeat themselves?  Why even bother?” he thought to himself.

Then shaking himself, he grasped at the idea, “Maybe the new water will be cleaner, fresher,  a new start that can just let the old waters flow away.”

“It was worth a try,” he concluded, and made his way to the bridge, a new country, and a new start.

(192 words)

Sunday Photo Fiction – April 7, 2019


Of Gifts


Pastor Rich spoke this week about the gifts of the Christmas narrative. He acknowledged that the greatest gift of the nativity was Christ, the Emmanuel “God with us.” We were a people lost in our trespasses, “But God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son.” The angel dictated that this child would be named Jesus “God Saves.” Wow, that is a gift! We who had no means of redeeming ourselves were in this birth saved. In the words of the carol: “Glory to the newborn King! Peace on earth and mercy mild God and sinners reconciled.”

But in the nativity story itself, we have the additional mention of gifts at the hands of Gentile visitors, the Magi. These men who had seen a star in the East travel to find the fulfillment of prophecy. Their journey at first takes them to Jerusalem, but it is not the palace they sought, but a far more humble abode in Bethlehem. When they arrive they bring gifts, but these are not token presents, but powerfully symbolic gestures.

The gift of gold was an offering worthy of a king. Jesus “King of kings, and Lord of lords” was rightly bestowed with this emblem. Frankincense a fragrant substance used in incense, perfumes, and precious oils was the next treasure. The scent of frankincense was a symbol of prayer, as its fragrance was seen to be graced upwards to heaven, as our prayers should. It was a gift for a priest. Jesus is our High Priest, a priest of the order of  Melchizedek, a go-between bridging man and God. The final offering was myrrh, a resin used in burial rights. It marked Jesus’ mission on Earth.  He was “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.” Sacrifice was to be His destiny, but in so doing He would redeem humanity.

While such symbolisms may be overlooked in today’s “gift” obsessed culture, they are powerful fulfillments of prophecy, and signs to us that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

The gifts were also practical in their nature, however.  A carpenter, his wife, and an infant child were about to flee from the wrath of King Herod. Their escape route would take them into Egypt. Think about a family from Nazareth, temporarily in Judea for a census.  Would they have abundant funds? God’s provision for the fulfilling of His plan is clear. Gold a ready currency virtually anywhere (even today) would assure passage. Egypt with its multiple deities, and elaborate funerary rites would have a steady need of frankincense and myrrh. The Holy Family was well set up for their exile, and given means for their return, that the Messiah’s mission might be fulfilled.