Thanksgiving Psalm

Celebrating birthdays is such fun, especially when they are your own!  Not every eleven-year-old has their birthday announced on the local news, but I was most pleased with the reactions to the Guardian article I wrote as it took me a long time to write.  On 27th January we marvel as a family at another year together and give thanks.

 

A Psalm of Thanksgiving for Eleven Years

Rejoicing in God’s lavished love,

Celebrating His glorious goodness for the last eleven years,

You have cradled me in the crook of your arms,

Comforting me in the unreachable blackest night,

For some, darkness would have opened the door to despair,

But, your hope-fuelled love gives me freedom to dance life’s joy,

Your serene peace massages my soul,

As I await your call home forever.

Rejoice in God’s goodness evermore – Amen!

© Jonathan Bryan

11th-birthday

Chatting about chat

What do you like to chat about? For me there is nothing better than chatting on the sofa with family and friends. But, can you imagine hearing people chat about you as if you are not there? Or worse still, hearing people say nasty things about your family as if you are not there or part of them. Using a voice usually reserved for babies and toddlers, occasionally when I meet new people or some professionals working with disabled children, I am treated to a charade of high pitched, sing-song toddler talk. Combined with a volley of over-used rhetorical questions, with an answer neither expected or waited for, the result is an auditory over-load.

Why do people talk to us like this? Often it reflects their own insecurities and in the case of professionals the pervading culture with special children.  Silence seems to scare people; silence in conversation is its life-breath.

Wonderfully I am blessed by people around me who interact with me like a ten-year-old, looking at me when they talk and giving me time to respond.  Thinking of my next witty remark and making people laugh is so invigorating.  

Any interaction is better than none, so please chat to people like me!

 

 

Christmas Joy

At Christmas time love descended in Jesus and that same love abounds today.  Happy Christmas!

God’s Grace

Laughter of reunion voices,

Fading through the night breeze,

Secluded in obscurity,

Cry of life – born for me.


Exhilarated exhaustion,

Carved on Mary’s face,

Faintly inklings of foreboding,

Echoing loving grace.


Vulnerable humility,

Divine, dependent boy.

Thousand years of prophetic light,

Lavished blessing – our joy. 


Running feet, gruff country voices,

Shepherds shyly shuffle,

Angelic announcement sharing,

Lost in awe, most humble.


Shafts of moonlight illuminate,

The sound of peace descends,

Embodied freedom sleeping now,

God’s love surrounds, transcends.

© Jonathan Bryan

christmas-photo

Magical Meeting!

Like a student at the feet of his master, on Friday I had the immense privilege of meeting my literary hero, Michael Morpurgo.  Listening to him read my story was an honour I will never forget.  The evening was rounded off with an excellent concert of songs mixed with a compelling reading of Michael Morpurgo’s ‘The Best Christmas in the World’ in aid of his charity, Farms for City Children.  My thanks go to the Make a Wish Foundation for arranging the meeting.

Below is a copy of my latest poem, inspired by ‘Coming Home’ by…Michael Morpurgo!

 

Going Home

 

Go my soul and go my eyes,

Onwards, onwards through fateful times,

Lift me, lift me home.

I must travel on.

Travel on.

 

Beckoning, calling, summoning, coaxing,

Drawing me homewards.

Homewards.

Travelling time on the wings of hope.

Fly my soul. Fly.

 

Anticipate home, yearn only for home,

Traversing on, voyaging on, journeying on.

Soar my soul, soar,

Steady my eyes. Steer steady.

 

Alone with Him in my heart,

Over the youngest years, through the sleeplessness,

She, my soul-mate joins me.

Together, our souls glide on.

Glide on.

 

Eyes sickening, body weakening, lungs dying,

Be strong my soul.

Be strong.

Falling, failing, fading…

 

Eyes glimpsing home.

Safe, warm, free, secure,

Soul’s rest.

Eyes discerning, eyes burning,

Dragged back, hauled back.

Next time.

 

Silence.

Soul’s suffocating silence.

Eyes searching onwards, upwards,

Trapped.

Until, until…

 

…I look out and see,

Eyes discerning, fingers pointing, letters spelling,

Break free my soul,

Break free.

 

Onwards, eyes dancing soul’s beat,

Dance on my eyes.

Beat on my soul.

Home is calling, beckoning,

Soul’s yearning home.

©Jonathan Bryan

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Marvellous Meeting!

jonathan-with-petitionYesterday I met with Edward Timpson, Minister for Vulnerable Children and Families, in his office in the Department for Education.  Accompanied by experts in the field, the discussion went well and will continue into the future with follow up meetings and research.

As a voice for the voiceless, it was a privilege and honour to discuss issues in education affecting children like me with such senior and influential people.  Until children labelled as having PMLD (Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties) are taught literacy as a matter of course I will continue to campaign on this issue.

 

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Meeting the Minister

Ecstatic to report that tomorrow I will be meeting the Minister for Vulnerable Children and Families, Edward Timpson, at his office in London.

Thank you for your ongoing support, I will be presenting my petition with over 179,000 signatures to him tomorrow, and it will bring weight to my discussion. Please pray for an effective meeting.

Thank you

Our Lives

Appearing on the ‘Our Lives’ film for the Children’s Commissioner and First News, was a real privilege, as it seeks to show the lives of different children in 2016.  Hearing Max talk of his previous life in another country is humbling and makes me realise how fortunate we are living here.

Watch the film here:

 

My Confirmation

Last night was the best service of my life, when I publicly dedicated myself to Jesus Christ; and I was particularly honoured that so many friends and family could share my special service with me.  During the service my wonderful godfather read out the testimony I had written:

Living Life in all its Fullness

With Jesus as my saviour, companion and friend, I have lived my hours here with happiness in my spirit and content calm in my soul. Knowing He is with me; cradling me in pain, sheltering me from darkness and beckoning me forward, has given me the strength and serenity to look life in the eye and smile. Like the constancy of the second hand of a clock, Jesus inhabits the quaver beats of my life; and as that beat slows, I look forward with excited anticipation to the day I will see Jesus; and live together with Him in His garden forever. In the meantime, I cleave to Jesus: my faith and my life.

The Author of Life

Beauty breathing through my soul,

Cradling arms tending my frail frame,

Sheltering rock whilst life’s storms rage,

Dancing with quaver beats of joy,

Anticipating Love’s beckon,

Home in the garden forever.

 

©Jonathan Bryan

jonathan-confirmation

confirmation-service

Revolting Rumplestiltskin

In commemoration of 100 years since Roald Dahl’s birth I have written this revolting rhyme, as partly heard in Hardeep’s Sunday Lunch yesterday.

 

Rumplestiltskin

The tale of Rumplestiltskin tells,

Of how men use their little gels,

To harness some financial gain,

And rid themselves of the dire pain,

Of finding a suitable man,

To wed their daughters. Here’s the plan:

The miller lies, the miller cheats,

“My daughter spins pure gold in sheaths,”

The king heard this as he rode by,

“I need this woman to be my

Treasurer, spin gold, fill my bank,

If she does this, the highest rank,

Of queen, my wife will all be hers

But if he lies she will incur,

My wrath poured out on severed head.”

Thus our heroine full of dread,

Waved goodbye to evil father,

For certain death ever after.

Locked in a room with spinning wheel,

And enough straw for a cow’s meal,

She dissolved into distraught tears,

When suddenly an imp appears,

“My dear,” he said with such aplomb,

(Brought up properly at Eton),

“Dry your eyes on my handkerchief,

What I perform is past belief,”

She sat snivelling in the corner,

Reader, how shall we forewarn her?

For whilst he spun the straw to gold,

His real intention was foretold,

By the smooth leer upon his lips,

Calamitous relationships,

Followed him where’er he travelled,

As quickly his charm unravelled.

Delighted with the pure gold pile,

She gave her necklace with a smile.

The king with pound signs in his eyes,

Places more straw to her surprise,

This time she calls out for her friend,

Who saves her from her sticky end.

With love bursting within her heart,

Her precious ring she did impart,

As a sign of her intention,

He accepts for his deception.

The king is greedy through and through,

And demands one last revenue,

The imp returns, she’s aflutter,

What he demands makes her shudder,

Her first born son is all he wants,

Despite her imploring response.

So now she’s married to the king,

Proud mother to her first offspring,

Imagine her immense surprise,

When imp returns to claim his prize.

You all know the story from here,

Three days for his name to appear,

She gets it on the final night,

His anger drove him from her sight.

What dear reader is never told –

How this encounter made her bold

To leave the king and start afresh,

Caring for children in a crèche,

Where she tells her favourite story –

She triumphed over men in glory!

 

© Jonathan Bryan