Wondering Wednesdays – mini pilgrimage

Yesterday we went to St Clether Holy Well and Chapel, a short walk from St Clether church. I gain so much from going to sacred places where people have prayed over many years and there is a deep sense of peace. It restores my soul. There were clouties on the trees by the well and inside the chapel an amazing granite altar and a little wooden door to access the lower part of the well. It is a place to return to with the requested bird seed! I am.so grateful to the people whose ministry is to keep such places open so that people like us can enjoy an interlude in a place soaked in history and worship.

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Musing Aloud: Right back where we started, sort of!

I was reading an article this week that quoted the very well known lines from TS Eliot
We shall not cease from exploration,

and the end of all our exploring

will be to arrive where we started

and know the place for the first time.

It goes on

Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.

Four Quartets

I am not sure I have always appreciated the positive growth represented in this observation. Recently, I have been struggling with a situation, that I have at least resolved for the time being. I have rediscovered and applied old and tested principles of trust, grace, not giving up or in, deciding not to become bitter, gratitude for what I do have etc. The reminder, that most fulfilled lives and achievements, have been through adversity and failure.

I have learnt and applied very little that is new, but I find myself back as I was before, yet in a re-newed, stronger place of hope, joy and peace.

Friday photo – signs of spring

I was tempted by these beautiful daffodils as I walked into a supermarket on Tuesday, seasonal flowers at their best. They are quite possibly Cornish if all my listening to farming today is accurate! Half term begins today, I look forward to some time and space to see more signs of spring, to marvel at God’s creation, to read, to rest, to be.

Wondering Wednesdays – remembering

Gordon Banks

Yesterday my timeline had lots of posts about Gordon Banks, the great goalkeeper who won the World Cup with England. One of the stand out memories from my childhood. I so admire his skill and ability. A goalkeeper making a great save is one of the most exciting sites I know.

I was also reading about the importance of memories and want to quote the wonderful John Swinton who has so much to say about how we should live. He uses the phrase “dangerous memories” which are
stories of the ‘other’ – the victims of history who have been forgotten by society, but who remain at the forefront of the memory of God. In raising our consciousness to the reality of the lives of the oppressed such stories become dangerous because they radically intrude upon and call into question, our complacent and comfortable present.

While it is good to celebrate the life of those who brought us joy, every life is equally precious to God and we need to try to share the stories or more importantly help others to share their own story so we can be challenged and respond.

John Swinton Resurrecting the Person Nashville Abingdon Press 2000 126.

Honest Christianity: Equality is good for all

I heard this quote on the radio this morning. I suppose I must have heard it before, probably many times. But today, it struck home afresh. Perhaps it was because I had recently visited  a family in hospital, was going to a discussion on homelessness and or dealing with cuts at work.

A government website on, What is equality? states,

“Equality is about ensuring that every individual has an equal opportunity to make the most of their lives and talents. It is also the belief that no one should have poorer life chances because of the way they were born, where they come from, what they believe, or whether they have a disability. Equality recognises that historically certain groups of people with protected characteristics such as race, disability, sex and sexual orientation have experienced discrimination”.

I am persuaded by one of Stephen Covey’s 7 habits of highly successful people, of Win:Win. It doesn’t always seem possible or desirable to everyone, but it must be the way forward for the benefit of all. The courage and humility to seek the common good, not to have it all, especially at the expense to others. Of course it is not always that simple, the complexity of addressing injustice, oppression. I have always thought the cartoon captured the sharper objective, virtue, objective, don’t treat people/ groups the same but give them the opportunity to equally thrive. Let’s not just look for our own self interest.

Let’s pray, look, be courageous, discerning in how to address it in our sphere of local and global influence.

https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/secondary-education-resources/useful-information/understanding-equality

Friday photo – living compassionately

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This is one of the postcards we use at the hospital, for staff support particularly. One of the bits of work I do is to create new postcards and after all my reading the other weekend I found some quotations I thought would be good to share. This is one of them.

I try to live compassionately, but it isn’t always easy. Sometimes it is tempting to look away from suffering, particularly if it is not close to home but it makes such a difference to all of us if people respond compassionately and even a tiny act of kindness can make a dent into the suffering being experienced. A ray of light.

I pray for God’s compassion so I might live ore compassionately.

Wondering Wednesdays – my wonderful students

Clearly I don’t teach fish! However, I do teach students who I asked to draw themselves as a fish and then locate themselves within our fishpond. I live this picture, it reminds me of how wonderfully diverse our students are and how God calls people at the right time for them – for some it is t beginning of their working life, for others after a career in a different field. But all are equally valued and offer their distinctive contribution to our learning group where we learn from each other. Today we have talked about spiritual care and activities we can use to engage people spiritually. A day of creativity and reflection which I am very grateful for.