Hope and Fear

Yesterday, we left off by ‘looking out’ from the door of the ancient church at Goodmanham. It seems to me to be something of a parable for the situation the world finds itself in, during these days of the pandemic.

The whole moment distills itself down to two words; faith and hope It is easy to get lost in the labyrinth of fear, which can so easily stalk our waking, and indeed resting life. Hundreds of thousands of people have walked across the threshold illuminated in the photograph; both into and out of the sacred space within the building. Carrying within themselves the whole gamut of expectation and fear and hope.

We struggle to make sense of all that occurs. Endless chatter and experts giving opinions. Politicians wondering and hoping and fearing…just like each of us.

I’m using the photograph as the point of focus for my reflection and thinking daily..it’s almost inexhaustible in it’s offering! Hope and fear still stalk our own lives, but in a more concentrated form at the moment. We need to acknowledge both and try hold them in some sort of creative tension, without allowing the fear to paralyse us.

I’ve had something in my head recently which I can’t get rid of. I offer it to you now, It is attributed to St Catherine of Sienna, a mystic who lived in the 14th Century. She wrote’ ‘I cannot lose anything in this place of abundance I have found.’ She spoke of the love of God.

I leave you with it, and after a break tomorrow (Sunday), I will pick up with these words of St Catherine in my next blog.

One thought on “Hope and Fear

  1. Hello Barrie,

    Thank you again for your further thoughts on hopes and fears.
    All very interesting.
    At first I thought I had nothing more to add from yesterday,
    but then some thoughts that I feel are relevant came to mind.

    I have kept looking at a certain book on my bookshelves for years –
    thinking, “I must read that sometime. ” Now, in this time of lockdown,
    I have read it at last. In fact, I finished it just before lunch today.
    The book in question is “Taken on Trust” by Terry Waite.
    Our elder daughter bought it for me when she was living and working
    in London in 1993. She actually bought it in a store where Terry Waite
    himself signed it !
    I thought I’d share about it because Terry certainly went through a time
    of terrible suffering and, thankfully, came through it. He certainly experienced
    hopes and fears in a very intense way at the hands of his captors in Beirut,
    where he had been trying to negotiate the release of hostages as the
    Archbishop of Canterbury’s envoy.
    I had a good cry when I read about his joyful and emotional reunion with his
    wife and family on arrival back in England.
    Just before his reunion with them, he gave a speech of thanks on live television.
    I remember watching it all those years ago and marvelling how he gave
    such a long speech – thanking so many different people – even though he
    had only just come out of captivity.
    Three words came to mind as I was drying my tears – perseverance, hope
    and prayer.

    Take care and God Bless,



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