Darkness revisited…

Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.

(Mary Oliver)

I have come across this quote in a few places recently so I thought I would post it. I have experienced the truth of this myself. In my case the person I loved didn’t fully realise how much darkness was being passed on to me… and at the time I just wanted the hurt and confusion to go away… I willed the ‘fall out’ to stop.

But now looking back I realise that the experience was a gift. Not one I would have chosen for myself or embraced willingly… yet still a gift. I learned so much from that gift of darkness… it changed everything about me. And I still carry a little ‘piece’ of it with me to remind me how much I have grown.


This is a post from my old blog from February 2009.  I reposted it to remind myself that darkness can sometimes be a gift – perhaps not at the time we are experiencing the pain or hardship or loss. But hindsight is a wonderful thing and it can be good to look back and see how a particular experience changed us. It can be even more amazing when we see something come full circle in our lives… when something we thought was lost forever is restored or renewed.

Photo: ‘into the dark’ by Jonny Baker on Flickr

A creed for the journey…

Still on a ‘travel’ theme, here is a wonderful creed written by Australian writer and theologian Dorothy McRae-McMahon (and found in this book” by Peter Millar):

We believe in God
who takes our smallest moment of hope
and grows it forth like a tree
with spreading branches
for the sheltering of new life.

We believe in Jesus Christ
who walks tall amongst us,
seen in our faces, felt in our hearts,
bedded deep in the longing of our souls
for all that is true, just and full of hope.

We believe in the Holy Spirit
who waits on our moments of openness
and springs into the unknowns
with joy and delight,
that we may be called on
beyond where we thought we could go
where every step is walked on holy ground.

A creed for the journey which reminds us that whatever we face in life we can draw on the amazing grace of the God who travels with us into the unknown… the God of life and hope… the God of joy and delight.

Picture is ‘walk through the shadows and into the light’ by Mike Lockie on Flickr

The future starts here…

Following on from yesterday’s poem, a blessing for Friday from Cheryl at holdthisspace

we leave today
going into a future
as yet unmapped

take faith with you as you go;
into the parts of your life not yet travelled by love
into the parts of the world unexplored by grace

let compassion and hope be the roads that you follow
today and always


Picture is ‘the start of the walk’ by Mike Lockie on Flickr

Reflections on life’s road

Some people travel in straight lines:
Sat in metal boxes, eyes ahead,
Always mindful of the target,
Moving in obedience to the coloured lights and white lines,
Mission accomplished at the journey’s end.

Some people travel round in circles:
Trudging in drudgery, eyes looking down,
Knowing only too well their daily unchanging round,
Moving in response to clock and habit,
Journey never finished yet never begun.

I want to travel in patterns of God’s making:
Walking in wonder, gazing all around,
Knowing my destiny, though not my destination,
Moving to the rhythm of the surging of his spirit,
A journey which when life ends, in Christ has just begun

(Julia McGuinness)

I hope today you walked in wonder 🙂

Picture is ‘one step at a time’ by Jonny Baker on Flickr

Don’t miss the rainbow!

Forgive us that narrowness of vision
which sees only the clouds
and misses the rainbows

(A saying from Guatemala)

It is often in places of suffering, despair and uncertainty that Christ’s hope bursts through. It is easy to miss the rainbows in our midst when life is comfortable or when the circumstances of our life threaten to overwhelm us.

Yet God’s presence permeates every aspect of life. We just need eyes to see that behind all reality lies the mystery of God’s abiding.

Photo is ‘promise’ by Jonny Baker on Flickr (a rainbow seen over the roof of Ealing Common tube station)