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The story of Moses (Exodus 33) who was only allowed to Godís back and not face to face, has always puzzled me. Perhaps itís true of all of us?


  1. Teach me, God, to see life backwards:
     to praise you for everything I've learned.
  2. A sunset redeems the dullest day:
     I can look back from today in brilliant technicolour;
  3. for you help me see glory in ordinary things:
     to feel significance in daily living -
  4. as the taste of food in the mouth removes pangs of hunger:
     the experience I've gained so far takes the labour out of learning.
  5. Teach me, God, to find you backwards:
     for treating you as history doesn't seem to work out!
  6. Early Christians found you in Antioch:
     looking back they saw Jesus your Son as risen and ascended;
  7. later on, they wrote down his story:
     gospel writers had messages to share -
  8. as the prism that separates fractured light:
     the dazzling truth of God shines through my past.
  9. In looking back from today I see flashes of presence:
     we cannot expect to see you, by being in front of you -
  10. just as Moses was asking to see your glory:
     but was only able to bear to look at your back.
  11. If it's in looking backwards I can see more colour:
     help me also look forward in hope -
  12. as Moses climbed the mountain into cloud:
     I can travel from childish certainties to find your mystery.


Lavinia Byrne in ĎWomen before Godí (last line)