24th March and the word is shadow. It is a lovely sunny afternoon here in Ayrshire – so plenty of shadows to choose from.
The cat, fascinated by her shadow:
Or me, flapping my coat to look like angel wings (not as easy as it sounds when you are also trying to take a photo!)
So to get me back into blogging, here is a beautiful piece called “The Singing of Angels” by Howard Thurman – some last echoes of Christmastime:
There must be always
remaining in every life,
some place for the singing of angels.
Some place for that
which in itself
is breathless and
Old burdens become lighter
deep and ancient wounds
lose much of their old hurting.
Despite all the crassness of life,
all the hardness and
life is saved by
the singing of angels.
(Source: The Mood of Christmas from inward/outward)
Picture is “stained glass angel” by Laura Grisham.
Moments of great calm,
Kneeling before an altar
Of wood in a stone church
In summer, waiting for the God
To speak; the air a staircase
For silence; the sun’s light
Ringing me, as though I acted
A great rôle. And the audiences
Still; all that close throng
Of spirits waiting, as I,
For the message.
Prompt me, God;
But not yet. When I speak,
Though it be you who speak
Through me, something is lost.
The meaning is in the waiting.
R. S. Thomas,
My previous blog was called “Rumours of Angels” and it carried the strap line “all is in flux turn, but a stone and an angel moves” taken from this prayer (Man is made to rise) written by the Very Rev Dr George Fielden MacLeod, Baron MacLeod of Fuinary (founder of the Iona Community).
It is about seeing the world through the eyes of faith, seeing beyond the earthly to the eternal:
Invisible we see You, Christ above us.
With earthy eyes we see above us, clouds or sunshine, grey or bright.
But with the eye of faith we know you reign:
instinct in the sun ray
speaking in the storm,
warming and moving all creation, Christ above us.
We do not see all things subject unto You.
But we know that man is made to rise.
Already exalted, already honoured, even now our
citizenship is in heaven
Christ above us, invisible we see You.
Invisible we see You, Christ beneath us.
With earthly eyes we see beneath us stones and dust and dross,
fit subjects for the analyst’s table.
But with the eye of faith, we know You uphold.
In You all things consist and hang together:
the very atom is light energy
the grass is vibrant,
the rock pulsate.
All is in flux, turn but a stone and an angel moves.
Underneath are the everlasting arms.
Unknowable we know you, Christ beneath us.
If you have never read any of George MacLeod’s prayers then I commend them to you – a great place to start is this book Daily Readings with George MacLeod.
(Photo is of pebbles on Chesil Beach from davesdistrictblog)
The desert waits,
ready for those who come,
who are obedient to the Spirit’s leading;
or who are driven,
because they will not come any other way.
The desert always waits;
ready to let us know who we are –
the place of self discovery.
And whilst we fear, and rightly,
the loneliness and emptiness and harshness,
we forget the angels
whom we cannot see for our blindness,
but who come when God decides
that we need their help;
when we are ready
for what they can give us.
Picture is ‘angel of revelation in the desert’ by Andrew Romer (here)