Empathy through the post


Today’s picture is one of a series of empathy cards produced by Emily McDowell, they are designed to send to people with serious or life threatening illnesses. Emily herself is a cancer survivor and these cards arise out of her experiences of people’s awkwardness around her and how there are no cards that say to someone what you really feel about the devastating nature of their illness. It is well worth reading what  Emily herself says about her cards and the motivation behind them.

So comes love…


let it go – the
smashed word broken
open vow or
the oath cracked length
wise – let it go it
was sworn to

let them go – the
truthful liars and
the false fair friends
and the boths and
neithers – you must let them go they
were born
to go

let all go – the
big small middling
tall bigger really
the biggest and all
things – let all go

so comes love

~ e. e. cummings ~

(Complete Poems 1904-1962)


A perceptive wee poem from ee cummings.

It is not always easy to let some things (or some people) go.

We hold on to the hurts and the  disappointments (big and small)… and we do this this at the expense of love.

Waiting to Be Revealed



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.

e.e. cummings

(found at inward/outward)

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)

On forgiveness…

There has been a lot of good stuff written about forgiveness this Easter time.  Forgiveness is something we can do for another person and forgiveness is something we do for ourselves – something which helps us to move on with our lives.

I am convinced that moving on is an important part of forgiveness. If someone has wronged you and you forgive them it doesn’t automatically mean that things will go back to the way they were before the perceived wrong occurred. When we forgive a new thing happens – perhaps a healing or a liberation or a means of moving on, even changing a pattern of behaviour which has become damaging.

It my case the situation involved a friend who behaved badly towards me.  Although I forgave the specific incident, I did not want to pick up the friendship where we had been before the incident happened.  It was time to draw a line under it and move on with our lives. However, to my former friend I am a terrible person. In her mind, forgiveness means returning to something which is now long gone – restoration. For me forgiveness meant acknowledging what had happened – drawing a line under the past and moving on to the new.

As a further example, I experienced a rupture in another friendship many years ago. The bust up was huge and significant and the fall out was painful and damaging for us both. Yet something new happened.  In the years of silence, we both learned the meaning of forgiveness and we picked up the friendship again at a different time in our lives. We still remember the past, but it is the past.

I don’t believe we forgive and forget. Forgiveness means living with what has happened, learning from it and moving on, believing that a new thing can and will happen.

I would be interested to hear other people’s views or experiences of forgiveness. Here is a interesting one on peopleforothers.

Photo is ‘going our separate ways’ by RebekahSfD on Flickr

Easter blessings

If you were not risen,
Lord Christ, to whom would we go
to discover a radiance
of the face of God?

If you were not risen,
we would not be together
seeking your communion.
We would not find in your presence
wellspring of a new beginning.

If you were not risen,
where would we draw the energy
for following you
right to the end of our existence,
for choosing you again and anew?

Brother Roger of Taize

A prayer for Tuesday after Holy Week and Easter, for all those who now draw breath and seek rest and renewal.

Those of you following the blog will know that Lent, Holy Week and Easter have happened without me this year. It has been strange observing rather than participating in worship.

It has been a virtual journey through the season for me, following Lenten blogs and observing how others have prepared and participated through their postings on social networking sites.

I have especially enjoyed the posts and comments on Revgalblogpals blogspot and on their Facebook page. And I have stored away some ideas for next Easter. Thanks ladies (and gents too) for creating sacred space in the blogsphere.

After nearly three months of coughing – day and night –  it seems to have eased off at last over the past week or so and I am beginning to feel human again! My residual worry is the effect all this coughing has had on my voice which is still rather hoarse, so your prayers for this are appreciated – for obvious reasons!

A belated happy Easter to all, especially the bloggers and posters who have shared the journey with me – without even knowing it 🙂

(Photo taken in the Lake District by the Husband)

letting go…

Some prayerful thoughts for Wednesday about letting go of our most human failings:

Lord – let our memory
provide no shelter
for grievance
against another.
Lord – let our heart
provide no harbour
for hatred of another.
Lord – let our tongue
be no accomplice
in the judgement of a brother.


(Northumbrian Office)

Photo is ‘desert waterfall’ by Joshua Cripps found here. If you subscribe to this wonderful site they send you a photo every day with its story.