A Contemporary Revelation 21 of Birmingham:

Given at Sanctuary in the City on 2 February 2005

 

 

I saw a vision – it was last Thursday at eleven o'clock in the morning.

 

I was standing on the top floor of the Rotunda, looking down over the city; and the cold winter sky broke open above my head and the Spirit of God breathed on my eyes and my eyes were opened.

 

I saw Birmingham, the holy city, coming down out of heaven, shining like a rare jewel, sparkling like clear water in the eye of the sun and all the sickness was gone from the city, and there were no more suburbs, squats and sink estates; no inequality between those that lived in Saltley and those that lived in Harborne.

 

I saw the canals running with the water of life

as bright as crystal as clear as glass

and the children of Birmingham swimming in that water.

 

And the Spirit showed me the tree of life growing in the centre of Centenary Square.

 

I looked and there were no homeless people, no more women working on the streets

No more needles in the alleyways; HIV and AIDS were things of the past

There was no racism

No gay bashing

No stabbings and brawls

No more religion

No more nationalist graffiti

No more piles of waste and refuse

No more drunken fights along Broad Street on a Saturday night

Because there was no more hate!

 

And I saw women walking safe at nights

Saw the men were full of passion and gentleness

That none of the children were ever abused

Because the people's sex was full of justice and of joy

 

The water of life flowing in the canals was not still and dank but rushed and bubbled

It rushed out to the Somalis in Sparkbrook, the Irish of Digbeth, the Pakistanis of Birmingham's balti quarter

The water flowed out to white estates and to Afro-Caribbeans in Handsworth and to asylum seekers living in every part of this city.

And this water of life touched all the races and peoples in Birmingham because in this new city, they had all come home

And in this new city their differences were beautiful and joyful and drew the races together in a multicoloured dance and feast, because each saw something missing from themselves in the other

 

I saw an old woman throw back her head and laugh like a young girl

And when the sky closed back, her laughter rang in my head

For days and days

And would not go away

 

And the power at the heart of this city wasn't a brand, a multinational, a shopfront or a committee

It wasn't a grand leader with a pr machine behind him and a gun in his pocket

No, the power that drew all this city together and from which the waters of life flowed, was no power at all.

Everyone was looking at a beaten man, hanging on a wooden cross on a rubbish tip in the centre of this pure city…and they all realized that this power was a dangerous kind of love that gave, and gave and gave without needing anything in return

 

This is what I saw, looking over the Bullring

Looking up from the city of death

And I knew that then there would be a day of resurrection

And I believe

That there will be a day of resurrection

 

 

Richard Sudworth

2nd February 2005

 

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