What I know about the London bombings

Jan Rees


Jan Rees is a poet and an associate minister at St Augustine’s, Neutral Bay. The following verses are her reflections on the devastating terrorist attacks on the city of London over the past weeks. In it she poses the crucial question, what has become of the Christian distinctiveness in a world rent by innocent deaths?

After Terrorism Struck One Morning in London

Where is salt and light?

Salt and light in a world shrouded in uncertainty and anxiety and often lost ness?

Salt and light when the cords of darkness draw unwittingly around our necks and pull closed, when we are not looking.

Salt and light in a world under whose thin veneer, the darkness spreads in cancerous malignancies, through cultures of weakness and corruption and appalling apathy.

Salt and light when a cricket game accompanies as a symphony of unreality, above the certainly of dysfunction and brokenness.

Salt and light in a world of business propriety and youthful enthusiasm, rooted in avarice and power.

Salt and light, when all green lights lead to domination and market edge.

Where to be hope, when Governments defiantly spit out arrogance as a toothless shield?

Where is salt and light in these?

Where to the distinctive in a shaken up canister, where all grains are grey and sludgy and tasteless in impurity?

Where to the light when clouds hover deeper and deeper, the consciousness of care?

Where to the light, when truth lies scorned as a fundamental, inscrutable unwanted companion?

Hewn raw and splintered from a tree, it stands quietly on a hillside long ago.

Calling through the centuries, with nails ripped through the fragments and light filtered round a thorny crown.

Graven light in a tomb and a rock door drawn open in the dust-

And light seared upon three days of death, adorning eternity in hearts of hopelessness.

Salt and light He is, who rose from all death's black and crushed entirety-

Freed from this world's futility and acid cynicism.

He rose from it all, casting aside the garments of yesterday and witnessing to

The Promise Eternal

Jesus, the light of the world, the lamp on the hill of our despair, burning brightly and forever, undimmed, uncorrupted, uncompromised-

Our Heavenly King, vanquishing the scum of our maligned saltiness.

Cleansing, preserving, healing, overcoming defeating -

Completed forever!

Nothing remains avoiding scrutiny.

From the depths of our destruction

He rose

And overcame even this, from the blackness, from the horror, from all this tragic sinfulness.

And seared clear the certainty of our own suicidal walk to oblivion.

And bids us come out and walk with Him, and live in Him

You and me - dead on the cross of darkness, defeated with Him

Yet joyfully, victoriously, risen from the dead with Him

To the light of eternal life

With the Father

You and me by the Holy Spirit with Him

And for now, to live as salt in the unsaltiness of our world

In an unlit world

And to shine as the light on the hill, when the world is black before us

Trusting Him, depending on Him, as we love Him more

As He first loved us

For eternity.