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    How Beautiful – winner

    How Beautiful – winner
    July 5, 2016 Lynne Ling

    How Beautiful

    Isaiah 52 v 7a


    ‘How beautiful on the mountains are the feet

    of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace.’


    How beautiful are the feet which pick their way

    through broken glass, blood and carnage

    to bring comfort to those dying,

    to save the lives of those bleeding,

    to be alongside the terrified in the bars of Paris.


    How beautiful are the feet which trudge

    through mountain passes, landslides and rocks

    to bring food, water and medical supplies

    to those cut off for days,

    In remote villages in the high Himalayan passes.


    How beautiful are the feet which pound city streets

    in the early hours of the morning,

    offering hot drinks, flip flops and taxis

    to those who are vulnerable

    and have put their lives at risk.


    How beautiful are the feet which repeat the same route

    day in and day out, visiting the houses

    of those who have no one,

    locked in homes that no longer ring with voices

    and where hardly anyone comes.


    How beautiful are the feet which go the extra mile,

    carrying the extra load,

    often blistered, weary, dusty

    yet fixed and unerring, following the road that

    leads to you, our Prince of Peace.


    How beautiful are the feet which were pierced by nails,

    feet which trod this earth of ours,

    opening paths of inclusion, tolerance and forgiveness.

    Feet which trod the dusty, jeering road to Calvary,

    For our sake – from deep within – to show us the road to love and peace.


    © Sue Whalley

    Copyright remains with the writers in each case. Please contact Lynne Ling for further details.

    The judges liked this meditation for a number of reasons:

    • It is a well-crafted piece of writing with a firm theological base expressed in a series of creative and evocative images.
    • It takes a biblical image and unpacks it, bringing it up to date.
    • It gently and subtly raises political issues both in this country and worldwide.
    • It reflects on previous natural disasters and tragedies which have been in the news and in our prayers only briefly but which are ongoing   issues, often with an ongoing Christian presence.
    • It is both personal and universal.
    • It highlights that there is no hierarchy of suffering.
    • It can be used as a meditation.
    • It reflects the social concerns of Methodist Women in Britain and the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women.
    • It is thought worthy of Isaiah!