Dispatches from Central Africa

The John Bradburne Memorial Door

Panels 05 - 08

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Panel 05

Jesus heals the people

 

Ndifika Ine, ndidzamciritsa iye

 

Mt 8:7

Jesus teaches the people

 

Rabi, tidziwa kuti Inu ndinu mphunzitsi wocokera kwa Mulungu

 

Jn 3:2

Jesus feeds the people

 

Muwapatse kudya ndinu

 

Lk 9:13

Panel 06

John distributes medicine at Mutemwa, preceded by Joshua, one of the lepers, blowing his horn

 

Travel a mile or two to lyric yields
Of lepers living… wander, giving pills,
Or bathe a man

John tends lepers at Mutemwa

 

Ancient is leprosy, the Bible span
Goes over it and over it again,
Eventually there the Son of Man
Solves not its riddle and resolves its pain
Only a little: but, beatitude
Woos legion from one tenth's due gratitude
 

This people is as ancient as the world
Yet not so old as cannot hold its youth
Despite extremities benighted, furled
Into a naught gives hints on thoughts of truth;

Be a poor leper never so uncouth
There's place for grace a-plenty in the heart:
Right in the face of grief where bites its tooth
They leap for Love the King and sing His part!

John watches over the dying

 

Time is a gearing down of Love's intensity
Testing those souls whose only goal's eternity:
Wheels within wheels, these heavy feelings turn in time
Better to break our fetters and make light our tie

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Panel 07

John sees God in Nature

 

None other is Mashonaland to me,
God, than Thy Mother's garment, flowing, free!

 

O nature is wonderful, worthy of praise –
Stars in the night, and sun in the days,
Snows on the mountains, streams in the vales,
Birds of the forest and seafaring whales,
Horses and elephants, fishes and snails,
Flowery meads – and the exquisite tails
Of peacocks! I cease, lest your interest fails!
But God is in nature, and nature in Him
Without whom remains nothing and chaos and whim!

John hears Mass in the Chapel at Mutemwa while Fr. John Dove celebrates

 

The saying, I could eat (him or her)
Recalls that food which Seraphim prefer,
That Bread of Angels which immortal makes
Mortals who take it amidst wings awhirr.

The deep desire for union in love
Is not a thing to bring to naught nor shove
Into a strange refrigerator where
Numb it becomes, deaf to the strings above.

Him she would eat, sweet her he would devour:
Neither's a savage for a savage power
Cannibal–like to masticate, but they
May both fulfill at Mass in half-an-hour

John assumes a Franciscan habit

 

The part Saint Francis played on earth
Was that of Christ's extreme:
Booked was he from his day of birth
To do what the do-nots dream

Panel 08

Jesus prays

 

Anacoka Iye, nalowa m’phiri kukapemphera

 

Mk 6:46

Jesus and his disciples enjoy fellowship in prayer

 

Pakuti kumene kuli awiri kapena atatu asonkhanira m'dzina langa, ndiri komweko pakati pao

 

Mt 18:20

Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane

 

Mundicotsere cikho ici; komatu si cimene ndifuna Ine, koma cimene mufuna Inu

 

Mk 14:36

 

God is depicted as Chauta, the Great Rainbow of the Chewa people of Malawi. He is personified as a mask, which serves to veil the Spirit World from our eyes.

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