Six Feet

a reflection by Andrew Stephens-Rennie

Under what circumstance would we call this—with all we are no longer doing—life?

I watched them
a grave for me
it was more
than a metaphor
that spacious
six feet
below grade.

I’m failing
in so many ways
failing mind
failing to comprehend
held six feet apart
from all I have

The regular rhythms
of what I called life
me no more
waves crash all around
the uneven stones on this
unknown shoreline
where we scatter and skip
above the surface
plip plip plip

Lazarus emerged in graveclothes
a sign of the life to come
looking like death
but embraced by his anam cara
the stench of separation
overcome as flesh presses flesh
as hand over hand face to face
cheek to cheek eye to eye
disbelief culminates in
explosion of love
a lifetime
after weeping put everything
on hold miring him in
fragile humanity’s gracious trap.

Some time later when
soul’s friend finds himself
in earth’s embrace
after torture pain humiliation
separate One from all
in hellish isolation
broken communion
broken earth
broken body
the pattern repeats.

And I wonder.
How will we rise?
In the shadow of all that has been
In this moment in this place
how will we rise?

When we traverse
those six feet
once again.

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Andrew Stephens-Rennie
Andrew is a writer, dreamer and organizer with a keen interest in developing leaders in faith, compassion and justice.

Andrew serves on staff at Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver, BC as Director of Ministry Innovation, with primary responsibility for St. Brigids, an emerging Christian community where questions are honoured, faith is nurtured, and discipleship pursued.

One Response to “Six Feet”

  1. Sylvia K.

    Thank you, Andrew. Death by isolation.


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