Blog Post

Just one word...

There was a Greg, a Lesley and an Emma - people I knew who would go on spectacular journeys to share (or receive) love, tears and good news with strangers. Coming back, you could see it in their faces - how much the journey had meant to them and how hard it was to express. People would ask them 'what was it like?' and they'd have to crush whole months or years into just a few sentences.

A long time ago I wrote this with them in mind.


Pages soaking in your hands, sorry for crying. The poor reflected in your eyes, children, women, dying.
Dried out rivers full of dirt.
Last summer. Your trip to India.
Last summer, when a thousand little Dalit orphans suddenly had names.

You think that people should be shaken at your words.
You think the photographs should mean something, oh and people ought to care. Writing letters, sitting up in bed, discarding the thoughts of a slow walk round the hill.

You’re waiting for a message, but He has given you one word.

And how could they not hear it? How could they still? It’s on the television news, in films, in everyone’s back yard, the no-go areas in town. Your summer never ended, whilst others’ just moved on. Tell the world, you tell yourself, find words in their language that mean the same as words in yours. Words like Ashok, Baldev, Kapil. Words like Mandeep, Shilpa, Raj. Find the sentences that tell the story.

Say the word. Just one word.

You draw a line right through your day: a clear decision made. Going back or staying home…You know He changed you either way, and made the choice to change again and learn again. Caution keeps you from damning everyone with what you know, when a little knowledge makes you worse. You want to feel pricked wherever it’s numb, you want every day to be like India, every summer, autumn, winter, spring, every season from now on.

There are sermons in your head but just one word is in your heart.

A little louder, a little quieter, a little
to speak. But if you could say just one thing, a whispered chant or prayer, say the word you’re meant to say.

Say “Arise, arise, arise!”