First Love, First Day

As a child 

Lonely and afraid I’d walk long, to escape

Talking to God my comfort

As I cried myself to sleep, I felt He was there

It was all a bit vague,

A bit unreal

A Child, with Childlike understanding

It’s hard to find the love when a mother’s heart turns violent

The woundings are driven deep, self blame inevitable

I must have been a horrid child

For a mother not to love

I believed I deserved it somehow

I was told I did

With fist and foot

With tongue and touch

With scratch and burn



I felt safe with God, or at least the idea of Him

After dad died, I left to live in the nurses’ home of my training hospital

I stayed dutiful as a daughter

But began to taste freedom and mutual respect

I found God again at the Nurse’s Christian Fellowship.

And that closing year of my Childhood,

Brought me to firmer ground

It was in Devon, Exeter, a Christian Retreat House,

I was there with a friend

But after three short hours I was ready to leave

I couldn’t take all the love!

It was such a shock.

To be thrust into a household so abundant in open, genuine, God inspired affection

I just wanted to run and hide.


That encounter with such a loving body of Christ;

The full torrent of pure love

Took my breath away

I had no idea what to do with it.

I stayed

Eventually, instead of hiding

I held wide my arms and asked for more,

I gave my tattered life

My bruised heart

My fragile Self

…to God

He received it as a treasure

He reunited me in Spirit

He restored me

He made me whole

But God had always been there

Giving and giving and giving

He had Collected all my Tears,

Kept Safe the Fragments of the Broken

His Hand had Sheltered my spirit from wounding

He had Shrouded the sails of my Hope

In the breath of His Spirit they filled once more

Instantly I knew and recognised the Companion of my Soul

Instantly I longed for more

Instantly I found Him

And I was found of Him

The day that followed was incredible,

Something so special happened,

I still revel in the Joy of it

I still thank God for every step of it…

… to be continued

Words and Pictures © Denise Stanford 2010

~ by Denise Within the Vine on 25/03/2010.

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