Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Old Tapes

Old Tapes
By Jeanette O'Hagan
6 April 2013

Images fade off the screen
Leaving an after shadow.
Flickering lights
The insistent click, click
Of terminating tape.
The darkness settles into silence.

Followers savour and reflect
in the hushed dimness
Stirring in plush seats
The soft shuffle, shuffle
of feet along the rows
Leaving a wake of empty echoes

Is life a faded celluloid tape
Or a digitally laser etched disc
That slowly fades into silence?
Or does it live again
In the Director's heart and mind;
A precious revived strand in
The ongoing eternal story?

The tape of death rewinds
Bringing new life out of darkness
Light shining, stone rolled away,
The crux of time and history
When dark veil is pulled aside
Life eternal claimed and foreshadowed.

Old tapes made new.
Telling stories
Of lives and eternal futures
Changed and revived
in the twinkling of the eye
Of the Master Story Teller

I've been reflecting on my father's journey with Alzheimer's - the slow fade of memory and how that impacts on him and our family. As my father forgets bit by bit his history and even the names of his children - we do not forget him or his stories.We are connected by fine lines of love and memory. Yet, in time our lives will also fade away but for the promise of our loving Father - “I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palm of my hands.” Isaiah 49:15-16 © NRSV

We recently celebrated the heart of the Christian story at Easter time - the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, God incarnate. We celebrate the defeat of death and despair.  We celebrate that Jesus changes lives through God's divine resurrection power. 

This changes everything. It changes not only our future beyond the grave - it changes how we should live our lives.

Somehow what started as a contemplation on how Alzheimer's is like the slow fade of an old tape was transformed into the hope and certainty that Jesus takes our old faded tapes and makes them new both in this life and the next. So with Paul, 

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 1:18-21 NLT

Jeanette (Jenny) O'Hagan
Lives in Brisbane with her family, writes fantasy, blogs and other things.


  1. Thanks Jenny for your wonderful post. Loved your poem. I grieve with you for your father's Alzheimer's - must be so hard to see him this way - but I thank God for the way you are connected deeply with him through love and memory.

    Yes, love lives on beyond the grave and what a hope we have as followers of Jesus.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Thanks Anusha - it is a hard journey, harder for my mother and my brother who care for him on a day to day basis, yet has also been a privilege to see a softer side of my Dad emerge as he lives more in the now. Through it all is the comfort of God's love and that this is indeed not the end. Jenny

  3. Thanks for that moving post Jenny. I love your analogy and it's good to know that even though it seems as if your father's earthly tapes are being wiped, they'll all be renewed in eternity.



  4. You have a lovely way with words, Jenny. Your story shows the power and comfort words may have, as you remember the stories your father told in the past.

    1. Thanks Paula for your kind words. Words are comforting - and so to the words of loving promise of our eternal Father.