Christe eleison


I like ‘Pray as You Go’. The Twitter feed snippets are often an encouragement, or a challenge (or both) in themselves. The podcasts are slow and reflective, which suits me utterly, being, as I am, of a contemplative bent. Plus, they are coupled with great (and often lesser heard, unusual) choices in worship music. Indeed, it was through ‘Pray As You Go’ that I first came across Karen Money.  I can be brave. The mantra when I fall, when I am weak.

As, I coordinate social media feeds across and from my Department, I’m often flicking from one Twitter feed to another, my personal timeline awash with a variety of posts on Psychology, student well-being, social development,  research funding ….and crochet, crafting, Christian Aid,  Taize… Twitter is something that I aim to do quickly: I skim through what’s relevant, seeking what’s worth re-tweeting, commenting on, following up.

This tweet stopped me short at the time. I think I was in the office, on my own. It stopped me, and has stuck with me since, because reading it, I realized that I could speak to Jesus. Which sounds incredibly obvious. If any child (or adult) had asked me if it were true, my response wiould have been immediate and positive. But I’d detached. Filling vast chasms of time I spend alone with Taize chants in an attempt to drown out the suicide ideation, Jesus had somehow fallen away from the picture. God was still there. But the Jesus whom I had been taught to pray alongside (with the help of the Holy Spirit, and to God, the Parent above) had faded with long forgotten prayer disciplines that were lost as I sunk further and further into mental illness over the past three years.


What did I want to say to Jesus today?  My initial response that day, and this, is anger. Anger at the hypocrisy of a church that teaches love, healing and reconciliation, and allows a minister to practise none of it towards me.  Allows her ostracism. Despair at the rejection, and at my inability to  shake the dust off my shoes and forget that she’s doing it. Fear of the depth of emotion, that thankfully ends in self-harm, rather than attack. Exhaustion. Other worries. Other stuff.


Br. Poalo from Taize knows of Jesus. As he organized the Taize prayer in Waterloo yesterday, it included prayers to  Jesus, as well as to God. Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison. And repeat.  Jesus as Light, illumining our darkness. Jesus with us, with me, again. God sees the struggle. Jesus sees the struggle. God’s mercy is for us. No matter what.

It is a useful question. Between reading it, and now, it has helped me come to Christ, cutting the stuff He doesn’t need nor want to hear, getting to the point. The place of need. Allowing for me to be held again. There is still anger, despair, fear, distress. Stress. Illness. But also a sense that I can do this. Not on my own. But with Christ.

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One Response to Christe eleison

  1. Martin McAlpine says:

    I read this S—-and the previous pieces written in February. They are so powerful. An absence of love in our lives can be crippling. It wears us down. This happened to me S—- and i became ill while at university.This was over 30 years ago. Don’t make the mistake i made. Let love and light in now S—! It’s there for you now in the present. I am certain of this. You are a beautiful, kind person. Let that knowledge carry you forward in your life with hope for the future. This is my immediate response to what you have written. I will come up with a more considered response in time.

    Martin xx


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