Beyond Reasoning — Poetry from Aotearoa, New Zealand

Poem by Erice Fairbrother of Aotearoa …

The way things end
Is pure theory

How it will be
Is not the same

As how it will go
To end up crucified

Was not a foregone

To make apology
Without change

Is not the same
As justice done

Denying beginnings because
Endings are unknown

Denies the faith that asserts
World without end

the invitation to
whomsoever will may come

and unconditional love
beyond reasoning

I asked Erice for background. How was it that she came to write this poem and she shares this …

This poem was written in response to a refusal to let a woman from the LBGT community continue on the path to ordination because the Church would not be able to ordain her at the end of her scholarship. That she understood that ordination in this country (Aotearoa New Zealand) currently means that at the end there would be a protracted period of waiting for that final step being able to be taken was not considered. The relationality that is at the heart of our trinitarian profession did not enter into the decision making.

My concern is that the theological and ecclesial imperatives of our faith have never been outcome driven but much more about following wherever the path leads, knowing that suffering marks our call but that does not stop following, faithful waiting, and faithful hope. There is nothing sensible in the world’s eyes about giving up all for Christ and expecting nothing but grace in return, whatever the circumstances. Never has been. Never will be. Being fools for Christ does not excuse us from making decisions that continue to confound the world even as it scares our own socks off!

When the church asks for certainty before faith, reason over the Spirit, it denies the whole spectrum of meaning in the phrase “eternal life”.

Erice concludes … Rangimarie (peace)


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4 Responses to Beyond Reasoning — Poetry from Aotearoa, New Zealand

  1. sugruerm says:

    A moving poem Erice and I feel for the anguish of discrimination that gave birth to these words but I think it only fair to let the world know than in Aotearoa this is not a ‘Church’ issue but a denominational one. The Methodist Church of NZ does not discriminate in this way.

  2. Joyce Miller says:

    The poem is lovely and the reason behind it gives an added layer of meaning and depth.

  3. Maren says:

    I asked Erice for permission to publish the reason because it does indeed open a depth, although I can think of several other issues that would call forth the same comment from me.

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