‘The Annunciation’ by Henry Ossawa Tanner 1896

She wasn’t ready for this.
She may have been sleeping,
Or just waking up.

Me? She asks
But I’m still young,
No one notices me much.

You are seen,
Declares the light.
Seen and trusted
To carry and to bring to birth
The Light of Creation.

Then may it be so
She quietly responds
Wondering what her yes will mean.

If she looked around 
She would see the room
bathed now in golden light.
She would see the blood
Red curtain surround her.

But her eyes are on the light,
Or at least the radiance of the light.
(For the Light is too bright to see.)

And in the far left,
A pot or two.
Least we forget
This is ordinary life,
An ordinary day,
An ordinary girl.
Still humble.
Reticent, yet yielding.
For she trusts,
Just as she is trusted.

Oh that you would rend the heavens,
Wrote Isaiah.
And now I see the rip of light
The ordinary, everyday,

Hallelujah, a light has come.

See the room is bathed in light.
Feel the warm radiance.
On you the favour of God rests.

Heaven ripped open in your midst. 

O God, fashioner of light,
You who vitalises the world,
Flow in and through me.
Animate my heart, mind and body.
You who bring forth new things
As you co-create with your creation
As you liberate the potential with in
As you bring forth what could be.

Liberate life in me
Just as you have,
Just as you are,
Just as you will.

Multiplying available reality.

A pause now,
Pregnant with possibility.

The Holy


I welcome your vitality.
Creative and co-creating Life,
Flow in and through me.
May I “receive the potency 
Of the creative whole”.

With thanks to Brian Draper for highlighting this image by Henry Ossawa Tanner and the poem by Elizabeth Rooney quoted in the last line. Thanks also to Rabbi Nahum Ward-Lev who’s language of God co-creating, liberating, and ‘bringing forth what could be’ has significantly shaped these words.Thanks also to Gregory Wolfe for highlighting the phrase ‘adding to the stock of available reality’ which continues to haunt my thinking and has come out in this piece.

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