Friday photo – path of light

I love seeing a path of light across the sea. Even more special when it.is moonlight but struggle to capture that on a phone and in the summer to be still up when the moon rises!

I have been seeing quite a few posts about paths recently and appreciating the way people are using it both literally and metaphorically.

What I realised commenting on one such post was that my path has remained quite similar in very many ways but the scenery has changed. Given a choice I would always walk by the sea but most of the time that is not possible and I have learnt to appreciate much more other landscapes too.

I have also been reminded of the Gate of the Year poem in recent days and appreciate Minnie Louise Haskins words about stepping out holding the hand of God. There are times when we see no light, they are the most challenging.

Friday photo – first light

I get most days around 6 as I did yesterday. I opened the window where we were staying to see dawn emerging.

I love it when the first light is natural, as I write this before 7, it is in a room bathed with natural light, no artificial light is needed here. As the days get shorter I am missing that early natural light for my quiet time alone each morning. Autumn is gathering pace.

Light is used as a metaphor for so many things, one is knowledge. One of the early Bible verses I learnt off by heart was Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and light unto my path.

A first light for me can be when I feel God is saying something to me and I need to see how it evolves, perhaps how it grows brighter or even how I grow into it.

Are you glimpsing a first light at the moment?

Wondering Wednesdays- looking for shafts of light

Light breaking over Camel Estuary

On our walk on Monday we kept waiting for the sun to break through to match the promised weather forecast! When it did it was beautiful! The picture doesn’t do justice to the beauty in real life.

There is a lot of writing and research on the benefits of gratitude. Looking for shafts of light is one way to frame this for me. In the past two years or so there have been plenty of times of darkness and listening to the news at the moment I am struggling to see the shafts of light although my mind keeps drifting back to Saturday’s football result which was a shafts of light for Spurs supporters after two poor games.

So where are the shafts of light for you at the moment? Beautiful early spring bulbs flowering are one if mine. Space to rest, read and walk this week is another. I need to be purposeful in looking for shafts of light, being grateful and experiencing joy even on those days when the search is particularly difficult.

Friday photo – growing into the light

This is a wild honeysuckle growing in a wood or forest we can’t find a name for near the chicks in the chapel’s new home. This type of honeysuckle grows towards the light which, in an overgrown forest, is upward. I was fascinated by this picture of a dead silver birch scaffolding fragrant, delicate honeysuckle which eventually may have red berries, poisonous to me but not to the birds. It is amazing what I can learn from Gardener’s World!

I am reading a few things at the moment, largely on social media, about what may die and what may live or grow or blossom as we emerge from lockdown. I am still dismayed to who is dying and the systemic issues that have caused this and find the rhetoric of we are doing well so hard to listen to. And despite many prayers over so long I still find it hard to hope that our self centredness and lack of regard for others and for an understanding of global citizenship, equity, dignity and respect. A more just and fair world is something I long for while admitting that I don’t always make the choices that contribute towards this. I interviewed a potential student yesterday and one of the questions we ask is what do you think should be too of the government’s agenda, she quickly replied, equality.

Wondering Wednesdays – the light of Christ has come into the world

This year more than most I long to see the light of Christ manifest in our world. It has been a hard year in many ways but today I am remembering the vulnerability of God who chose to become human, being born as a baby, a risky endeavour. In the remembering there is hope and an awareness that God has been Emmanuel to me this year, I cannot imagine what it would have been like if that were not so. Christmas blessings to all

Honest Christianity: Fruit of the light of which we have been made for and from

fruit hh

This was a thought around the fruit of the Spirit that I found while preparing for our Pentecost Sunday service today.(9 of us shared on one fruit each, very inspiring). I thought it really caught the essence of the fruit of the Spirit as we think about being filled and refilled with the Holy Spirit in our daily lives.

By our fruits we will be known. Actions? Naturally. Words, yes as well. When speaking out against injustice, owning up and taking responsibility for past mistakes, sins, oppression. This is the potential for the quality of the light that can shine from us reflecting our God and Kingdom in whose image we are made, Jesus as the Light of the World and the Kingdom of Heaven here now on Earth.

If we want to know what we should be doing and being, let’s try being loving, kind, gentle, good, the list goes on, so can our light.

Friday photo – guiding lights

Trevose

Trevose lighthouse, on the edge of the north Cornish coast. I am drawn to lighthouses, there is one on my ordination stole as the metaphor is significant to me. It is only when it is dark that they act as a guiding light, but even then it is a flashing light, darkness, light, darkness, light… That might be because the light sweeps round 360 degrees although we only see it from one perspective. That helps me to realise that sometimes I need more than just my view – I can’t see everything from where I look for guiding lights to help me navigate the path.

Friday photo – looking for leaves

kingsbury

A few days into Lent, an early Lent with trees still bare and snow still forecast. I took this picture on one of our walks at Kingsbury Water Park. It is very much a Lenten picture for me, light in the gathering darkness gives me hope in the wilderness thoughts and so many bare branches helps me see the structure and growth that gets covered up when summer comes. This Lent feels like a bit of a building season for me…

Friday photo

Light of the world

The light of Christ has come into the world and we celebrate that again today. This picture is of the Birmingham Children’s Hospital by candlelight. The altar frontispiece was lovingly and prayerfully sewn by Tina Milne and her team, it is a beautiful piece in a purple silky material to sit and meditate on. For three afternoons this week the chapel was available for anyone who wanted to to come in, receive hospitality, talk to a chaplain or just sit and contemplate or pray. Making space for people to encounter the light of the world or perhaps get a glimpse of light in their darkness is a great privilege.

Christmas blessings from us both and we appreciate everyone who takes the trouble to respond to what we post in so many ways.

Honest Christianity – more light, more dirt

light

We had a new light in our kitchen this week. It has 4 LED spot bulbs and helps as we don’t have a great deal of direct sunlight coming in. The previous spotlights had almost all broken and we were cooking in the dark, we can now see much better to prep and cook. It is so effective I now feel like I am approaching a sun hot spot as I walk into the kitchen.

The negative is that what looked okay has now been revealed as grubby floor tiles and stained worktops. How much is this like being in the presence of God and Godly people? They don’t even have to say anything but the quality of their lives shines into our dark places and we become more aware of the places in our own lives that might need a bit of work. Sally did not say anything, and we don’t have anyone visiting this week but I was embarrassed into cleaning, sweeping, wiping.

So that’s more weekend chores and perhaps more long term, getting ready for more of my
spiritual grime being shown up.