wordsout by godfrey rust
The sailing of the ark  < 39 of 45


I'm no raving charismatic (as you know!)
but what dogma brings you—David Watson's curate—

to say some gifts are not
for us here and today? What then

are these signs? Wishful thinking?
Something worse? Would you confine

his supernatural utterances to one time and place,
say that the God of Job is bound

to speak now only after proper exegesis? Andrew,
in God's supreme untidiness I only see

he will do what he wants to when he wants to,
and speak in whatever tongue or form of silence

best suits his purpose to confound
our stolid pharisaic study of divine behaviour.

David Watson (1933-84) was a leading charismatic evangelical pastor and preacher in the 1970s and 1980s, and an advocate the exercise of the spiritual gifts of tongues and prophecy. Andrew Cornes (to whom this sonnet sequence was addressed) was his curate at St Michael-le-Befry in York