Every one of God’s promises is a “yes”.
(2 Corinthians 1:20)

I have never been very good at saying “yes”.

“Yes” demands things from me. It asks for my permission, my blessing, my support. “Yes” may signal my promise to change. It may seek my embrace of something new and different.

But the more deeply I come to know God, the more significant “yes” becomes. “Yes” can be a lens with which to revisit parts of the Bible narrative. Over and over again we read about God’s “yes” to his people.

God’s “yes” grants permission, offers freedom, bestows trust. God’s “yes” is an invitation to grow, an exercise of free will, a learning experience.

“Yes” acknowledges the stark possibility of failure. “Yes” is an expectation of new beginnings. Of trying again.

Do we expect a “no”, and find ourselves hearing “yes”?
Do we react with a “no”, and shut down the possibilities of “yes”?
Do we have a vocation to be speakers of God’s “yes”?

Here are two poems on the theme. One may appeal more than the other, and there is an offensive word in the first…


It’s like a tap-dance
or a new pink dress,
a shit-naive feeling
Saying Yes.

Some say Good morning
Some say God bless –
Some say Possibly
Some say Yes.

Some say Never
Some say Unless
It’s stupid and lovely
To rush into Yes.

What can it mean?
It’s just like life,
One thing to you
One to your wife.

Some go local
Some go express
Some can’t wait
To answer Yes.

Some complain
Of strain and stress
The answer may be
No for Yes.

Some like failure
Some like Success
Some like Yes Yes
Yes Yes Yes.

Open your eyes,
Dream but dont guess.
Your biggest surprise
Comes after Yes.

From Staying Alive, Neil Astley (ed.), 2012, Bloodaxe Books

God says yes to me

I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic
and she said yes
I asked her if it was okay to be short
and she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
or not wear nail polish
and she said honey
she calls me that sometimes
she said you can do just exactly
what you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it even okay if I don’t paragraph
my letters
Sweetcakes God said
who knows where she picked that up
what I’m telling you is
Yes Yes Yes

From The Palm of Your Hand, 1995, Tilbury House Publishers