"Prophesy is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed I cannot" (Jeremiah 20.9
"Prophesy is the voice that God has lent to the silent agony, a voice to the plundered poor, to the profaned riches of the world. It is a form of living, a crossing point of God and humanity." (Abraham Joshua Heschel)
Prophesy isn't clean. The way of Christ isn't gilded. It is a ragged, dogged, dreadfully-felt thing.
It is the psalmist smashing together hope and despair at the bottom of a bone-lined pit. It is the prophet hammering on the walls of the temple, shouting until their throat bleeds that God's cold fury is set upon those who allow justice to exist. It is the women wiping tears and perfume on Jesus - the rabbi who pointed out that it is not the rich and powerful who are blessed; that love doesn't look like your comfort.
Prophesy is a group of dreamers huddled in a small room, dangerously bold, trading whispers of revelation. The prophets are radicals. They are found at the edges - rooted in justice and mercy and a wild each-otherness. They walk humbly, but relentlessly.
This is our call; the call of the prophets.
"God, I open myself to you. I choose to become your voice in the world. I want to feel what you feel, and to act accordingly. Amen."
Note, Gideon Heugh was Tearfund's 'Poet in residence' and the above is adapted from Day 38 of Tearfund Lent Devotional, entitled 'Open', 2023