In the darkest night
it is not possible to believe
that light will come.
Because light has come before,
doesn’t mean it will again.
Hold faith tonight
for those who see the darkness
stretch before them -
who know no other truth than that -
whose barren-ness prevails,
who are buffeted by despair,
who cannot breathe for fear.
Join your prayer to God’s:
let there be light.
We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us is someone valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.
If you are experiencing self doubt, spend time with people who lift your spirits and make you feel good about yourself. Avoid those who pick away at your confidence and who try to pull you down to their level. Life is too short to be with people who suck the life blood from you.
(Pictures: Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes)
“At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance,
and there is only the dance.”
T.S. Eliot, from Burnt Norton (‘Four Quartets’)
I love TS Eliot. I have done since studying his poetry at school for Higher English. I love the density of it, the imagery he uses and the sheer beauty of the language.
Eliot has a thing about living in the moment – neither “time before” nor “time after” . If we live in the past, or if we fantasise about what lies ahead, then we can miss the possibilities that exist in the present moment . We can miss the ‘still point’ at the heart of movement and we can stifle our creativity.
At the still point we get caught up in a timeless moment, one we hope will never end.
Perhaps we don’t look for these moments enough amid our busy lives?
Picture is by Daniel Owen from his website – Imprints of Light
There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.
(William Stafford, The Way It Is)
I found this while blog hopping and it appealed to me.
What is your thread? What runs through your life, your relationships? Does your thread encourage and motivate you? Does it keep you grounded no matter what life throws at you?
We all need something to hold on to, something eternal and timeless.
“Three things last for eternity: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (I Corinthians 13:13)
(Image is ‘follow the path’ found here)
The trading of joy comes naturally because it is of the nature of joy to proclaim and share itself. Joy cannot contain itself, as we say. It overflows.
This was this morning’s thought from inward/outward, and it came through just as I was thinking about the worship theme for this coming Sunday (yes I am starting back to work at last).
I was thinking about recognition and how we all need to be recognised, appreciated and loved. And I was reminded of this wonderful short film, part of which I am hoping to show on Sunday morning.
So if you have a dose of the Monday morning blues – then grab a coffee, put your feet up and watch this – I guarantee it will make you smile
“One of the most damaging things about the popular view of love is that it requires being nice all the time. I don’t think that I am a particularly nice person. In fact, one of the reasons that I count myself among the believers is that I cannot rely on my being nice to pull me through.
Being nice is closely allied, of course, to being liked. The two go together. If I’m not nice you won’t like me, and if you don’t like me then there is no chance of love springing up between us. This kind of reasoning breeds dishonesty because it means that “love” becomes a code word for avoiding confrontation or disagreement.
True love requires a strict and accurate regard for truth. We live in an age that would prefer the smooth lie to the hard truth. The result is that we are very poor at honouring genuine feelings and hard-won convictions. In the name of caring for each other we often do everything we can to diffuse one another’s passion. We are embarrassed by strong expressions of emotion… Love is reduced to niceness and the passion and the grief are driven underground….”
We cannot be ‘nice’ all the time and I know for sure that niceness isn’t going to get me through. I can’t sustain it. And anyway being nice does not necessarily = love!
Being nice is on the bland side of love. Niceness is the easy route – saying things that other people want to hear. Sliding over the truth.
Niceness is superficial. But love is something way beyond superficial. Love has depth, conviction and passion. Yet the passion is something we want to ignore, especially when it comes to faith.
Christians should not just be nice people (although it is a start ). We should also love with passion the God who first loved us, the God who revealed the depths of his passion for us in Christ and on the cross.
And then we should share this love with those around us.
Why, who makes much of a miracle?
As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky…
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth
Is spread with the same.
“Every cubic inch of space a miracle? Jesus, God Incarnate, made the whole world that sort of Sacred Space. Holy Week reveals to us again that even the dark and bloody places of the world are sanctified by his life, death and resurrection. The journey we make with him in retelling and experiencing his Passion through symbolic worship in Holy Week draws us into that sanctifying mystery. We enter the darkness that we might see the light more clearly.”
(Whitman quote and reflection pinched wholesale from this Lenten blog which is well worth a look.)
Photo is ’57th‘ by Jonny Baker on Flickr
Photo is ‘staines’ by Jonny Baker on Flickr