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.
I’m an impatient waiter! Now there’s a confession!. Be it traffic lights or the arrival of a parcel or a host of other things that will get me all agitated. In the church’s calendar this is a waiting moment. Jesus is laid in the tomb and inwardly we wait with anticipation for the Easter moment.
How it arrives and touches us, cannot be answered. It’s as diverse as we are. The whole Easter story is full of suprises. The biggest one is the moment when inviduals and groups began to see Jesus alive; talking to them, showing the marks of his crucufixion, breaking into their moments and days, as he does today, through the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.
We can sit and wait and miss the moment, or we can carry on with hope in our hearts and arms wide open to welcome the Risen Jesus.
Waiting is not wasted time, it is precious time that we may not have again. So make today a productive day, and wait with hope.
…Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all. The words composed by Isaac Watts in 1707 and forming part of the Hymn, ‘When I survey the wondrous cross.’
Watts goes straight to the heart of the profound love of God for all humanity. Love so amazing speaks for itself; it demands my soul, my life, my all.
On this day of reflection in the face of all we have passed through in this past year, the promise of the love of God for all remains. Jesus Christ the beginning and the end…nothing is lost. God’s love does not end, because we are understood, just the way we are. Hold that thought in your consciousness, today.