This teddy was living in the chaplaincy office at Birmingham Children’s Hospital when I took this picture. I don’t know if it is still there or if it has been given away. The MU make knitted teddies for the team to give to patients and they were asked to create some which were different. As you can see, this one has no hand on one of the arms – imagine how exciting it would be for a child who didn’t have a hand to see this teddy. Images are influential, when we see or don’t see us in different media it can shape our self-perception and our understandings of who or what we can be.
Last night Adia washed my feet. She helped me wash and dry the feet of the first person to come forward and then by herself washed and dried mine and the ones you can see in this picture as well as helping with others. We laughed at the way the bubbles seemed to find their way to the back of people’s feet so you had to dry them very carefully!
One of my friends, Keith White, encourages us to do theology with a child in the midst. Last night it was not an imaginary or notional child, it was a real child (Keith always emphasises the importance of picturing a real child). Adia served as Jesus did, with joy, in an unselfconscious way and blessed me so much. We have so much to learn from each other, and given what I do for a day job, learn from children and young people. Last night was a great intergenerational event where old, young and in between all contributed in different ways as we remembered, ate, shared, served and waited. I am so grateful to be in a church which creatively helps us to enter into the Lent and Easter story.
I did ask Mum if it was okay to post a picture!
I took this picture yesterday evening, it does not do justice to the quality of the light. The shadows had lengthened, the temperature had dropped, the river began to take on a yellowish tone as the sun was sinking. I have no idea how I know this is evening light when I look at the picture but I do.
Less than an hour later it was dark and in a village with no street lights that really does mean dark. If you read this blog regularly you will know that I have been reading about loss this lent and as I look towards Holy Week I am hoping I can live more in the present and follow the story as it unfolds day by day. Evening light helps me prepare for the darkness, it isn’t an immediate switch off, there is a gradual process, I am drawn into night time with the hope of sunrise and morning light. However, I need to learn to live more comfortably with the growing shadows, with the darkening sky and learn to watch and pray…
Blossom time is so fleeting, even as I took this picture petals were on the ground like confetti. But blossom time comes along every year, life has its seasons and when the blossom is gone and the tree is all green it can look a little dull! But with some blossom it is a precursor of the fruit which is to come.
I got to talk about faith and hope and God this week with a friend and reflected on how some of these things have changed over time and trees are such a good metaphor for this helping me to understand that there are seasons and to rejoice in what happens in each one of them and that I will never be a sapling again!
An apt picture for a week like this one. I took this last Saturday at IKEA struck by the importance of it. Yesterday I was doing a bit of teaching on human development with Chaplains at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and we looked at how an understanding of theory informed the work we did with them. We talked about the importance of play as a way of processing so much of the experience, of how interventions might enable children to work towards the positive element of Erickson’s conflicts and how action, image and symbol can be significant at different stages of development. A high 5 is more than just a bit of fun…
One of my lovely friends made this for me – I got it a week ago as a belated birthday present. I appreciate all the thoughtfulness that has gone into it. She knows I love seahorses, it is a book cover and most people know how much I love books and it was wrapped in the most wonderful Celtic wrapping paper! She has listened to me over many many years and gave me something to treasure…
I wonder what thoughtful act I can do today….
I love swings and I got to play on this one yesterday. I spent many happy hours on a swing at the park and at home when I was a child. Every time I see an American programme or film with a swing on a porch or veranda I am envious. We perhaps don’t really have the climate for it in the UK but the idea of sitting in such a place fills me with delight. A swing is a place to sit and ponder and be reminded of the playfulness of childhood.
This week a group of us were given 20 minutes just to go and be outside in some wonderful grounds that contained this swing. We were exploring reverie “a state of being pleasantly lost in one’s thoughts” and talked about spontaneous thought and our minds wandering and the benefits of this. We were told to leave all electronic things behind! I spend a little too much time multitasking and the exercise helped me to realise the benefits of some down time when I am not distracted by a phone or trying to accomplish something!