Not the Bakers field
Or the town of Carl
Not the Gelding misspelled
Nor Loud ham or ley of Lambs
Not the Calver Town or the Red clay cliff
But… the nether field
You know? The lower one,
The one that floods!
The one where all the trains go to unload all their pile of goods
No cosy nook of Joyce and Bert
Or Southerly minster well
No ford placed west of Bridge for me
Nor Thorpe of Gun to tell…
But a village built fast
When the industry went
It just left wild confusion
Such a maelstrom of people
From diverse situation
Makes for such embittered folks
In dark times of inflation
Single parents, congregate
Natter over garden wall
Refugees seek solace here
Maybe it is peaceful after all!
Six o’clock the bus stop’s full
Of lipstick, heels and pecs
Who leave behind this no hope town
And it’s Mapperley rejects
Charlie Red potent up on top floor
Of the old faithful green number 20
Their LBD’s glitzy as they head off to Ritzy
To dance and drink MD2020
Left behind, Beggars, drunks and layabouts
And kids who want to play about
Behind the old community centre
And boys like me who still climb trees
In search of some adventure.
Window cleaner cases houses
To know which ones to rob
Dole queue stretches round the block
Cos no one’s got a job
Towns of industry
Hubs of community
Left behind till Retail Park revived
So offspring of the factory girls
Walk aisles with cheese and chives
And top up Pringles on the shelves
Now that Morrisons has arrived.
And still the cries of drunken yells
Seep deep into the night
As fearless yob rolls up his sleeves
For Friday’s Fight Night Fight
And as I close my eyes to hear
Another drunken groan
Perfect it may never
But Netherfield is my home
P J Deakin 2016 ©
On Sunday my Pastor spoke about the Parable of the Sower.
The seed fell all over, on the path, the rocky soil, in amongst the thorn bushes and on good well-tilled soil.
We know the story, and over-familiarity can mean that we lose the crux of the story. That we forget to look at things afresh.
Dave further explained how the seed that fell on the rocky soil was shallow, and that like shallow people there is no root and so when hard times come they shrivel up and rarely thrive.
The seed which fell among the thorns represents those who are easily distracted by the pleasures of life and so become choked by the pursuit of happiness through a hedonistic, materialistic lifestyle.
As I reflected on this over a coffee after the service, I recalled the number of times my faith has become stunted due to my shallow nature.
Without roots we die.
I’ve also been guilty of pursuing the pleasurable aspects of life, selfishly… often at the expense of those I should be caring for.
Whilst I considered this, I was looking out of the window and I saw this:
You may not see it at first but this is a (rather blurry) photo of a small tree stump which we pruned right back about 18 months ago when a team of us did some gardening work in the grounds of our new church building.
Look closer and you will see that a small slender branch has sprung up out out that branch and has soared higher and higher! It has grown at least 7 feet high in only 18 months!!
Why? Because despite the tree being removed, the roots still remain! And while the roots remain there is an irresistible instinct within that tree to grow! Roots will always lead to growth!
At the very top of that tiny slender branch there is a single leaf. New life is budding and bursting forth out of the shell of the old.
As I looked on I realised what God was saying to me, “get yourself rooted in me, then whatever life throws at you, you will always come back stronger!”
I realised that I will not pursue selfish pleasure if I am rooted. I will not seek man’s approval of I am rooted! For myself I pray the words of Paul in Ephesians 3 and trust that you will too…
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Ephesians 3:14-19 NIV
God Bless you!