Immersing oneself in a story is the most enjoyable wonderful escapism. Trapped in Cerebral Palsy here: I run within the pages; skipping, laughing, exploring. Imagery expands, entwining itself with experience, inspiring writing of its own. Which two books do you think influenced my latest story?
During Lent people often give something up, like chocolate or coffee (my sister was disappointed to discover that giving up school was not an option!) However, we have decided to take small steps to being more generous with all that God has given us. Helped by the Kindness Elves™, who are spending Lent on our bookshelf giving us a daily challenge, we are trying different ways to be kind.
Amazingly, Hannah, from Sugar Films, has very generously decided to help me beat my personal target to raise more money for charity this year than last year, by running the half marathon. (https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/hannahmelia) What will you be giving, or giving up for Lent?
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
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!
At Christmas time love descended in Jesus and that same love abounds today. Happy Christmas!
Laughter of reunion voices,
Fading through the night breeze,
Secluded in obscurity,
Cry of life – born for me.
Carved on Mary’s face,
Faintly inklings of foreboding,
Echoing loving grace.
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
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!
Go my soul and go my eyes,
Onwards, onwards through fateful times,
Lift me, lift me home.
I must travel on.
Beckoning, calling, summoning, coaxing,
Drawing me 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.
Eyes sickening, body weakening, lungs dying,
Be strong my soul.
Falling, failing, fading…
Eyes glimpsing home.
Safe, warm, free, secure,
Eyes discerning, eyes burning,
Dragged back, hauled back.
Soul’s suffocating silence.
Eyes searching onwards, upwards,
…I look out and see,
Eyes discerning, fingers pointing, letters spelling,
Break free my soul,
Onwards, eyes dancing soul’s beat,
Dance on my eyes.
Beat on my soul.
Home is calling, beckoning,
Soul’s yearning home.
Yesterday 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.
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.
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:
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.