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xxi. Signs and Wonders - Bags


Early 13c. bagge, from Old Norse baggi or a similar Scandinavian source, perhaps ultimately of Celtic origin.

After the Japanese

bombed Darwin

for the rest of the war

my father carried

all of his air force kit

in a grey canvas duffle bag.


through all my childhood

it stood stiffly

with silent scars

in the far corner

of his old shed


with last year’s harvest

of papershell


Jeff Guess


Most of us imagine we carry our whole ‘world’ in our purse or wallet. Along with money, credit cards, licences, business cards, photos, etc. Recently I found a small smooth pebble on the beach that had two white striations in the form of a cross on one side. I’ve added it to my bag as something both very much of this world and of the kingdom within.

The first bag I remember owning was a blue floral cotton drawstring bag my mother made for me. I was three years old and I carried it for recess at Christ Church kindergarten; large enough to hold a few pieces of fruit. The unaccountable smell of mandarin that still betrays me to that distant early playground.


If I regard your world as a large, colourful, wonderful and beautiful carry case. May I choose thoughtfully, wisely and with your help from its exquisite choices to ‘pack my own bag’ with care, carry it lightly and share its many blessings with everyone I meet.

Reading: Samuel 17: 49

Reaching into his shepherd's bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it with his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face down on the ground. NLT

©Jeff Guess 2017

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