Christian Poetry
Poems by
Zareen Cave

Zareen writes: "I live in Lampeter, West Wales.  I wrote this reflection as a result of a distance learning course on Pastoral Care which I participated in 2004.  I work as a Mentor, note-taker & study Assistant at University of Wales: Trinity Saint David.  This is the first of my explorations of the Christian faith through writing poetry.

Meditations on John 21
By Zareen Cave


There are fewer of us now than there were three years ago;
You, our rabbi, mentor friend and companion
Have gone to your Father.
You did promise to be with us always
But we can’t see you anywhere, anymore.

You are a baffling man;
You leave us confused, wandering, wondering and alone,
We do feel bereft.

We were eager to blame Judas
For betraying you to the establishment;
The body of men about whom
You were sometimes so scathing

You have left us to fend for ourselves;
Where do we go from here?
We might as well go back to our fishing
Something with which we are familiar.

We have been in this boat for hours;
We have completely lost our skills;
We have caught nothing!
What are we expected to do now?


We drew towards the shore
You were there Lord;
We saw a silhouette of a man beside a charcoal fire;
Who was this man so early, at daybreak?

As we approach the shore
You speak, “Have you caught something?’
We all shook our heads forcefully;
“Absolutely Nothing!”

“Cast your nets on the other side”
We have nothing to lose,
We might as well do as he suggests.
We are really surprised when we net in
An adequate supply of fish.
Enough to feed all of us.

This reminds us of the other incident;
When you were always with us,
You suggested we tried another spot,
When we did  Wow!  What an enormous catch we made!

We had to ask help from other fishermen.
There was enough and to spare for everyone.


After netting in the fish,
We decided to go ashore.
After all we had been up and about
Almost all night.

You were there welcoming us,
You had lit the fire,
You were ready to cook the fish,
Our much needed breakfast.

We pulled the boat to shore,
Some stayed behind to ensure that everything was as it should be!
Others ran ahead to greet you.  We realised it must be You.

Thank you for coming back to us
For not leaving us alone forever.
Thank you for your presence
Even when we don’t see you or feel you.
You are the keeper of promises!

We enjoyed the breakfast you prepared for us;
It was a simple meal of bread and fish;
You were with us; You nourished us with yet another meal.

You are a faithful, promise keeping friend;
Even when we doubt you;
These last two or three weeks have dragged on endlessly;
Like grey days always do,
With no glimmer of your constant presence.

You seem to drift in and out of our lives;
Now we see you and in a flash, you are no longer there!
No wonder that Thomas questioned
Whether it was really you that we saw.

You turned to Peter once again,
The impetuous, hot-headed, short-fused fisherman.
He had been feeling very down-hearted,
Miserable, morose and probably very guilty.
You asked him the same question three times!

“Peter, do you love me!”
“Yes Lord, I do
“Feed my sheep!”
Peter, Do you love me?”
Yes Lord, You know that I do.  I have already said so”
“Feed my lambs”
“Peter,”  “Yes Lord”
Do you love me more than all these other people?”
Lord, you know everything!  You know how much I love you!
“Tend my sheep”

If it had been one of us you asked
What would have been the answer?
You know everything about us;
Our confusions, our conflicts, our fears our deep phobias,
Yet you always know how to bring out the best in us.

You know our gifts;
You encourage, affirm and nurture us;
When we go back home
May we do the same for those with whom we come into contact.

May we encourage, nurture, and refresh one another
Knowing that you are in our midst.
You will always care with and for the carer.

When you give us a task
Remind us that you will always
Equip us to fulfil this task
Please remind us
Especially when the going gets tough
That’s when we are most likely to forget.

May we encourage one another?
Please stay in the midst of us.

(© 2015 Zareen Cave – All rights reserved. Written material may not be duplicated without permission.)


Our Torn World
By Zareen Cave

Our world Lord is scarred
And war-torn
We have done it to ourselves.
As I think of all the areas of conflict.
There is little doubt in my mind
That this has been caused
By our basic inhumanity
To one another.

You knew this Lord
That is why you came to us
To show us how to live
Sharing our human situation.
Then you bravely went forth to die
Knowing how painful it would be
For yourself and your loved and loving ones.

You held the Ace
You rose again
So now you are always among us.
Please don’t let me be slow
To acknowledge your presence
Within me and with me;
You join me 
On my discipleship journey
Thanks Lord.

(© 2015 Zareen Cave – All rights reserved. Written material may not be duplicated without permission.)


Vine and Branches
By Zareen Cave

Vine and Branches
As I consider the vine and its branches
I think of all the sap coming from its roots
Coursing through the vine
Extending through to the branches.

The only sustenance for the branches
Is if it keeps grafted onto the main vine.
If it becomes detached from the vine
For whatever reason
It will be starved of nutrients
From the sap.

In the same way
If we become detached from You
Or in any way disconnected from You or Your body
Lord eventually all moisture rich in nourishment
Will dry up.
We will shrivel and become unfruitful.

Lord may I always remain abiding in You
So that I can produce a rich harvest
Of the fruits of your spirit

(© 2015 Zareen Cave – All rights reserved. Written material may not be duplicated without permission.)


Free Range God
By Zareen Cave

By all accounts You seem
A free range God
You won't be penned down
Tied to any particular, culture
Tribe, community or nation.

Is that why some anthropologists
Claim that religion is a social construct.
This may be true
But You aren't.

Why do people need to own You?
Believing that You belong to them exclusively.
That is why belonging to a religious group
Can feel like being shackled
To rules, regulations and
A bunch of meaningless rituals.

However these are the people
Who miss the point;
You are the creator of the universe
The world within the cosmos.
You grant us Your freedom
Provided that we don't try
To bind You to ourselves.

We are all individuals
Your Spirit draws us together
To make us one in You
So that we belong to each other.

The British Imperialists
Riding on the Christian message
Entirely corrupted the perspective
Of their subject people.
They tried to show that You were
Their God and must be fully accepted
With all their cultural trappings.
The Spanish Conquistadors appeared
To have made the same mistake.

Did they entirely miss the point?
Believing that You were created in their image
Not that all humans were created in Your image
To enjoy a Covenant relationship with You
Which also has a strong element of freedom.

Thanks Lord for revealing
That You are a free range creator
That You will empower us to be freed
From the baggage of past misconceptions
If only we would let You do so!

(© 2015 Zareen Cave – All rights reserved. Written material may not be duplicated without permission.)


Living In Me
By Zareen Cave

For over forty years
You have lived in me and with me.
I am so sorry Lord
This house is so cluttered, dark & dingy,
Festooned with cobwebs,
Angry animals ready to pounce.

Although I asked you in
It may have been an uncomfortable home,
You probably haven’t felt welcome,
The host has been less than friendly
And sometimes totally discourteous.

Thanks for staying around Lord
For not walking out on me;
For helping to clear
Some of the garbage, clutter and cobwebs.

Your steadfast love
Reinforces itself daily on me;
Your caring compassion seeps out
To make the connections with those around me.

Please continue to keep the light
Switched on;

Thanks for the steady power supply.
Thank you for your company
Along life’s journey
For your gift of friendship
For the gifts of the Holy Spirit
You have lavished on me.

Please may the fruits of the Holy Spirit
Continue to grow daily in my life.
May the tree daily produce
Fruits of love, joy, peace
Self-discipline, wisdom.

Thanks for accepting the invitation
Thanks for coming to live
In me and with me.

(© 2015 Zareen Cave – All rights reserved. Written material may not be duplicated without permission.)


Our Pasts
By Zareen Cave

Our pasts haunt us sometimes
Besieging our thoughts
Unbalancing our emotional equilibrium.

However Lord you are powerful enough,
You can readjust our past,
You can heal, restore, and strengthen us;
Giving us your relief.

Forgiveness is essential
To free us from the fetters of the past.
You keep emphasising this to me Lord.

There are cases and situations,
People who I find really difficult to forgive.
Please enable me to be willing
To let go my anger, resentment
Or slow burning rage against them Lord!

You have said that if we are willing
You will empower us to do your will;
By pouring your life giving Spirit into us.

In you we receive our peace
A resolution from ongoing conflicts!
Energy surges boost our strength;
The ability to find the still centre,
Provides us with joy and peace.

Thank you Lord for Your power;
The comfort the reassurance;
Which sustains and strengthens,
Renews and reinvigorates us daily.

Give us your joy
Empower us to do your will,
Filling us with the life giving Spirit;
As spring water bubbling to the surface our being.

(© 2015 Zareen Cave – All rights reserved. Written material may not be duplicated without permission.)


The Death and Resurrection of Lazarus
By Zareen Cave

Lord in your power
You raised Lazarus from death
When we are raised from spiritual death
We are also bound by grave clothes
Worldly attitudes and value systems
We also need these grave clothes,
Our shrouds, to be removed
So that we can use our muscles.

Using our muscles
Allowing the stench of death to disperse
Does take a bit of time Lord.
Through the miracle of the Raising of Lazarus
It is a sign of things to come.

On this Easter morning
Thanks for gradually preparing me
To understand this thought,
Giving me time for the full impact
Of Your Life, death and resurrection
To reach all the parts of my brain
To penetrate my whole being.

(© 2015 Zareen Cave – All rights reserved. Written material may not be duplicated without permission.)

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