On 3rd September, some of us from Christian Students Uniting had the pleasure of attending Pulse’s Young Adult Gathering. Pulse is a state-wide organisation tasked with engaging people in their “first third of life” in the Uniting Church. It was wonderful to build community with other young people from different congregations across Sydney, and to reflect together on what it means to be “more like Jesus”. I was asked to perform a poem in response to the Bible readings shared on the night, meditating on the cost of discipleship:

more than the sand

Gabi Cadenhead

after Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18 and Luke 14:25-33


we count our blessings

from a God who made us

in fear and wonder:

a God who knows

the curve of every thought

before we speak;

who binds together

our past, our present, our future,

and holds us close;

a God whose mind

is so vast we cannot

comprehend it.


we count the cost

of God’s kingdom come:

familial bonds

that may not last

the journey;

everyday comforts

forsaken for this

endless pilgrimage;

the weight of state

violence slung, wooden,

over our shoulders.


we count and they are

more than the sand:

these ways in which

an inescapable God

knows us and makes

Themselves known;

this call to lay aside

all that we possess

and to love all else less

than this road,

this person of Jesus

and the claim

he has made

upon our lives.


we carry nothing

but a cross and faith

that this road

will return us

to God’s own womb,

no longer any distance

between us.



To accompany this poem, some blessings for the road by UK-based trans poet Jay Hulme:



Beatitudes for a Queerer Church

Jay Hulme


Blessed are the outcasts;

the ostracised, the outsiders.


Blessed are the scared;

the scarred, the silent.


Blessed are the broken;

for they are not broken.


Blessed are the hated;

for they are not worthy of hate.


Blessed are those who try;

those who transform, who transition.


Blessed are the closeted;

God sees you shine anyway.


Blessed are the queers;

who love creation enough to live the truth of it,

despite a world that tells them they cannot.


And blessed are those

who believe themselves unworthy of blessing;

what inconceivable wonders you hold.