An Unapologetic Meditation

Francis Spufford’s marvellous Unapologetic turns at key moments on a simple phrase: ‘more can be mended than you know’. This is the phrase that encompasses the resurrection for Spufford, as Jesus speaks to Mary; it is the phrase that ends the whole book. I could write a lot about the book – it is not just brilliant, but necessary for every pastor in Western Europe, at least – but this is a simple and personal prayer growing out of my response to it, and particularly my response to/reflections on the phrase ‘more can be mended than you know.’

 

A voice cut through her tears,
through her grief,
through her anger,
At the loss of the body
That she had come to honour.
A voice spoke out her name,
As the body it stood,
As it bore flailing fists,
And silent-screamed curses.
‘So much more can be mended than you know.’

A voice speaks to me
In the debris of my life,
So much broken or just passed,
So many promises dropped.
Phoned through apologies;
Emailed evasions;
‘How can I continue?’, I find myself thinking;
‘So much more can be mended than you know.’

I think of my friends,
Women and men,
Of the things they have done,
Of the lives that they know.
I think of their brokenness,
(Knowing mine to be worse)
And I hold to the promise,
Because what else can be done?
‘So much more can be mended than you know.’

I think of our churches,
In this once-great Britain,
Of all we’ve surrendered,
Of all we’ve forgotten.
I wonder what hope is there
For the true gospel,
And I hold to the promise,
Because what else can be done?
‘So much more can be mended than you know.’

I grieve for my town,
With a pain never-ending,
For those who fight with a strength
Beyond my imagining.
For those who fight and still fall,
Because of society.
I wonder what message can pierce the pomposity,
And I hear a voice, one convicted,
Who wants to say to me,
‘So much more can be mended than you know.’

I pray for my people, broken and hurting,
Triumphant in suffering, destroyed by prosperity,
I look to the Father, the Lord of all mercy,
And I feel the promise, deep within me:
‘So much more can be mended than you know.’

My life is a sham of pretended piety
My hopes are all broken on the bar of hypocrisy
My failures are legion, my lies are in front of me
And yet still there’s a promise that will not let go of me:
‘More can be mended
‘So much more can be mended
‘So much more can be mended than you know’

1 Comment

  1. RuthG
    Dec 21, 2013

    Will you please stop making me cry!! Thank you for this

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