taking the words of Jesus seriously

There was a spot, right at the back of my dining room, in the cheap rental house where we lived after losing our home to foreclosure.  

A cramped, annoying spot. Difficult to get to, because the room was more of a breakfast nook really, and our big clumsy table took up far too much space. Frustrating to clean, because the broom or mop would just clatter around table legs, barely making a notable difference to the aging, stained floor.  

This spot was always the last place I got to when sweeping the kitchen. Always the last corner to be cleaned on “house cleaning” days. It was a weary old spot that had somehow come to hold all my frustrations: all my yawning, gaping exhaustion and the hurt of losing a home. All the shame of being powerless and poor, all the unmet longing for change.  

Of course, myself and I, had never had a conscious conversation about this “spot.” It just sat there, being a corner: disliked, cramped, awkward, and annoying to clean.  

One day, while going about my daily mom-tasks, picking up clothes and washing dishes, absent-mindedly wondering if  something new and good would ever come along, I said out loud (as one sometimes does), 

“Where are you, God?”  

And almost before the thought had gathered itself to become a sentence—almost before it had left my tongue, almost before it was even a question—I knew the answer.  

God was in that spot.  

God was in the most mundane, powerless, painful place. God was here with me, waiting and longing, hoping and aching, experiencing every inch of my humanness with me, dying and crying for change.  

This is the poem I wrote about this “spot” that day:

READ: Roots of Justice

“Between the Wall and the Table”  

Between the wall and the table  

In the last place I sweep  

In the last piece of dirt  

I found you  

And round by the sink  

At my sentry stand  

With suds on my fingers  

Old food on my hands  

Not doing what I love  

Just doing what I should  

There, I found you  

Then, out on the prairie  

Where it’s lovely and wild  

Where no word, or breath, or sigh could

express it Where every color is singing

and shouting  And every bird’s whistle

crushes my heart  The whole Earth


And releases again  

And the wind cries ‘low’  

As she sweeps across the valley  

The birds gladly ride it  

To the mountains high  

Where my peering eyes follow  

And I’m blessed, and I’m blessed  

Gulping down love  

Famished babe at the breast  

There, I found you 

In every song that I ever sang  

Ripped clean from my lungs  

Red flesh from my breast  

A ragged sharp edge  

Like the beat of a heart  

Or a butterfly’s wing  

This wild thing  

Comes soaring or whispering  

Out of my soul  

That single note  

Now it rises  

Up in the tower room, when I was a child 

I’d sing the whole hymnal just to cry out your name  

There, and there, and there  

I found you 

In my father’s benediction  

In my mother’s tears  

In the bread and the wine  

Your body for mine  

In my lover’s skin  

In the lush green grass of my children’s laughter  

In my best friend’s mind  

Understanding mine  

There, and there, and there  

I found you  

Between the wall and the table  

In the last place I sweep  

In the last piece of dirt  

I found you

The ancient Scots, my ancestors, believed that in the liminal space of nature, on the night

when one season ends and another begins, the Spirits can be more vividly seen, more clearly

heard; they enter in.  

It’s in the liminal space, when there is both light and dark, both sunshine and rain, that we are

able to see that which is always there. Always there, but normally invisible to the naked eye:

the rainbow of colors from which all light is made.  

It’s in the middle-space of both dying and rising that reality widens out and we see

everything, from one end of the  horizon to the other:  

A God who chooses to be weak with us. A God whose strength is love.  

A God you can be angry at, while you are held, deep in the womb of Her love.  

The Great Love that spans over all and can’t be manipulated or owned, only freely given and freely received.

About The Author


Esther Sparks is a singer, songwriter, visual artist and storyteller from the west of Scotland; she was raised in an intentional, spiritual community in the rolling hills near Loch Lomond. For eleven years, Esther and her family lived in New Orleans, where she worked with numerous musicians, wrote and recorded three albums and worked as a singer in the evenings, and a mom during the day. In 2009, during the fallout from the great recession, the Sparks family lost their income, and then their home. Subsequently, they lost their sanity, their sobriety and their faith. Esther’s sixth and most recent album: ‘Drowning, Rising & the Space In-Between’ chronicles her journey through that loss, recovery and rebirth, and is now available at all major online outlets. Esther lives in Colorado with her husband and three grown kids. She loves to make little sketches and films for her songs, and you can find these on her YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/@EstherSparks

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