Looking though photographs on my computer the other day, I came across this, which somewhat took my breath away, The glass cross was made for us a couple of years ago and is set in a piece of driftwood. The two glass figures are placed in exactly in the right place as the light catches them and the cross to produce a wonderful silhouette on the wall.
Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all. The words that are resounding in my head. I know that I’ve used these words of Isaac Watts before, but I often come back to them in my own journey, and I want to offer them to you, along with the photograph, for your own reflection today.
Enough said; I’ll leave you to contemplate in your own time.
The setting sun has always drawn my attention. The myriad of changing colours and the blaze of light before the darkness descends. It is so easy to ‘get lost’ in the moment and let your soul be drawn to the Creator of all.
As I write this I seem to have gained a smile! Thankfulness, contentment, the assurance of the creative work of Maker of all. ‘Everyting is held within the love of God’, is what plays in my mind. I want to carry that thought into this day and I offer it to you, for your journey.
One of the most profound times in my life was the realisation that God’s love was infinite; without end or boundary. This is sometimes difficult and unexpected, beacuse we live with boundaries and limits. Sadly we then imprint this on our view of and understanding of God.
Take a moment to catch the implication of what this might mean for you. We live in the boundless love of God, but to be honest I miss it, most of the time. Lets start observing and listening and hearing.
We have been through many changes over the past year, and have no doubt adapted in our own unique way. The chameleon has the incredible ability to change its body colour to match it’s surroundings, although it seems to have failed in this photograph!
We have all got our own stories of the pandemic, which will stay with us for a long time. Into the mix comes our own faith, which has no doubt had ups and downs! It certainly has for me.
When I reflect on the past year, I see how my own understanding of God’s love has changed and developed. In the moments of uncertainty, I have become aware of the depth of the love of God for all humanity. Hope in the middle of fear; and the assurance of peace in the middle of noise and words.
I have needed to adapt, as we all have, but what undergirds it all is that the love of God never changes. It never gives up, gets tired, or has a break.
God speaks to us where we are, even in the daily changes that we have to deal with.
Well. not literally! These are, as you may well know, Eider Ducks, otherwise known as ‘Cuddy Ducks. The connection with St Cuthbert and his cell on Inner Farne, keeps them in the public eye. Cuddy is an alternative to Cuthbert!
What ever the stories around these wonderful creatures and their connection with St Cuthbert they are a marvellous part of creation in these parts. We see them almost every day, bobbing around and being ducks!!!
What strikes me this morning, is the way that animals are so closely linked with faith, and particularly with Saints. During the past year, I have had many conversations with others, in which we speak of how the natural world is so vital to our well being. Stopping and listening and hearing. These are not ‘just’ animals, they are part of the story of God’s creation.
I find myself needing to learn how to ‘tune in’ to the natural world; the creative gift of God to each of us. Not taking it for granted. St Francis was able to make that connection and draw strenth and hope from what he saw in the natural world.
Simply, I offer this photograph I took last year, and send it to you for your own reflection and thinking. If it worked for St Cuthbert, let it speak into your heart!
Apologies for the lack of a blog yesterday. My computer had been slowing down and needed someone to fix it! The wizard technician was able to remotely take over my computer and through a lot of twists and turns, sorted it all out!!!
Seeing the cursor moving without any input from me, was a lttle disorientating and got me thinking about how life works out. Things happening over the past year of the pandemic, and us being obervers of what has unfolded, without any control most of the time.
It spoke more deeply about how God moves in our lives. Not as the divine keeper of the remote control. or computer screen, but that sense of something ‘undergirding’ all that we are and all that we do.
Those momemts when we do feel lost or drifting, or worrying, are real and visceral in their power. What we need to sense in our moments of uncertainty, are the key strokes of the Divine technician, who is closer to us than often we are to ourselves!
This may seem a little odd as you read it. But take a moment to play with the idea, whilst asking the Creator of all to take the remote control for a space!!!
A great word to start with! This lone seagull is weaving its way across the sky, because it can! Taking moments to catch the wind which allows it to use the lift of the air and move towards its destination.
Just taking time to observe the scene, is enough to rest the spirit. Here are some words from the prophet Isaiah chapter 40 verse 31; ‘But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint”
Isaiah says it all in a very simple sentence and reflection. It’s the kind of wisdom that makes you stop and draw breath and attempt to immerse yourslf in the power of the wisdom you are reading!!
Take the words with you into your day. Choose a word or a mental picture and let it speak to you, as God’s Spirit moves in your life.
Do a bit of ‘Inward soaring’ and be prepared for surprises !
Blessings and peace be with you…wherever you fly and land!!
Which comes first? I don’t think there is an absolute answer…to what? Answers and questions, of course!
I chose this photograph because I have no idea what it is? You will have your own interpretation, After the events of the first Easter day there was much confusion. Individuals and groups kept seeing the risen Jesus. A period of confusion. Lots of questions, and not many answers..apart from ones that were difficult to believe.
Seeing is not always believing; witness the photograph above! There is always the edginess of uncertainty.
I belive that God is calling each of us to those edgy moments. Because that is what faith is all about; not certainty, but questions, which push us to think differently and not worry about about certainties.
Our thought processes are constantly changing, but deep in the middle of this is that ‘still small voice, not of an easy calm, but of challenge. To look and see and ask and learn and step out; letting the Spirit of all truth speak into the confusion.
The juxtaposition of the ruins of Walkworth Castle in Northumberland, with the riot of colour from the daffodils surrounding the Keep is a parable about change and perhaps healing.
The Castle is a sign of the fleeting power of humanity; once the seat of a powerful border Lord, now providing photo opportunities for locals and visitors! There is the offering of human engineering which has lasted for 800 years, but a changed role from what it originally stood for.
For me today, it speaks of change and suprise and perhaps in a strange way, healing. The new life represented by the ‘host of golden daffodils’ surrounding the keep, speaks to me of the need for our hearts to be open to the life enhancing work and blessing of the Holy Spirit. Straight from the heart of God.
Take a moment at some point in your day to reflect upon the picture. I find myself with a whole lot of feelings, predominantly a sense of thankfulness.
Living right next to the sea, means that the rhytmn of the tides is a constant backdrop to the day. The movement of the sand and pebbles and rocks, as the tide rolls in and out speaks of the tides and seasons and rhythms of not just nature, but our lives.
The Church’s calendar works on the rhythm of events and moments.. we are in the season of Easter for a period of time. Easter Day is the starting point, not an end point. One of the things about the past year is that we have had to learn to live in the moment. As I took this shot, I was capturing a moment of time.
The rhythm of our days, seconds, minutes, hours, are moments when we can be present or absent. There are distractions aplenty within my day, and I have to learn anew to focus my attention on the moment I have been given by God. With a head full of ‘stuff’ this is not easy. God does not leave us, we leave ourselves, by being distracted and thus miss the moment which is offered to us.
So in essence we need to pick up, or tune in to what is unfolding in our ‘inner life’, and not ignore it bacuse of lack of time or inclination.
Please be assured of my prayers in the rhythm of your day.