Saturday, 28 March 2020

A larger heart

As self isolating becomes the norm, we might be tempted to become inward, focussed on all the worst that this culture urges us to think is important- Me! Me! Now! Now!
The news would have it that there is nothing else worth considering but Covid-19. But there is of course a bigger picture, which is that God is, that God is love, and that we serve him by serving others.
So today's blog will be short, and will bring God and others to the forefront of minds and hearts. It was sent me by a friend, who received it from one of the Bar Convent ( York ) sisters- the Community of Jesus- in Rome.
May we all be blessed as we keep in mind and heart the bigger picture of God, and others.

May we who are merely inconvenienced-   Remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors-    Remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home-    Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent. 
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close-    Remember those who have no options. 
May we who have to cancel our trips-    Remember those who have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market-   Remember those who have no margin at all. 
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home-    Remember those those have no home.

As fear grips our country; Let us choose love. During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbours. 

And all the people said 'Amen.'  

Saturday, 21 March 2020

An extraordinary week

Last Sunday I was in Limassol, Cyprus, preaching at the Anglican church (and I apologise that the prepared blog did not appear- Technowhizz First Class I am not, and couldn't somehow get it all together to publish it). Today I should still be in Cyprus, but am home, tired and thankful that Mary and I managed to get home.
We are in self isolation. For many, this will be a new experience, and possibly unwelcome. We are social beings, after all. But before that- I take this as one of the lessons of the Garden of Eden story- we are made by God, and for God, and this could be a time to discover more of that.
This poem was sent to me, and it says all that many hope for in this turbulent, distressing, opportune time;

And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened,
and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games,
and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened
more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced.
Some met their shadows. And the people began to think
"And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living
in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.
"And when the danger passed, and the people joined together
again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and
dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal
the earth fully, as they had been healed."
~Kitty O'Meara (unknown publication)

May it be so. The Lord be with you. 

Saturday, 7 March 2020

curiosity, observation

I'm taken up presently with Gilbert White's Natural History of Selborne,  a record of his observations, mostly the bird-life, in what was in the late eighteenth century, a small settlement in Hampshire which counted for little in those days, and probably doesn't now. Partly, as we read it in the present day, it's a reminder of how much we have lost as the changing patterns of agriculture have impacted on our landscape, our flora and fauna. Partly, it's a reminder of how far we've come in our understanding of migratory behaviour in birds; some of White's theorising doesn't seem to stack up - from the little I know!- about migration.

But in spite of all this, I'm much impressed by the curiosity of the man, and that mindset which will record from one year's end to another the observations he has made, which helps him understand- sometimes mistakenly (see above)-  a bigger picture.

Curiosity, observation; it's a process we know in the faith too. Few of us would be so foolish as to have 'blind faith'; our belief is built on experience as much as scripture and the teaching of the church. It's our experience of a good God which leads us deeper into Godself, although it would be foolish, nay, misleading, to say we have - I have- never taken a wrong turning, made a wrong assumption, gone where nothing stacked up. The pole star for all this is 'truth', found in the One who is also the way and the life. That is where my curiosity and experience has led.