Creator of the universe
Creator of the universe
A walk with deliberate attentiveness….
Twisted sillouettes against the blue.
Two creeper branches reaching for the sky,
tendrils finding each other in mid air.
Butterflies flitting between the grasses,
some autumny orange and some bright white.
Surprising strong waft of sweet wild jasmine,
hidden in the undergrowth.
The soft feel of a furry leaf,
like a mouses back.
The spikey rough touch of bark.
So many different bird sounds,
once I tune in,
chirps, chattering, squawks,
some low and regular
and some a high melody on top,
every so often catching a glimpse of their source.
Round droplets of dew on leaves, sparkling with light, swiftly disappearing.
Amber beads of sap
hanging from split rough bark,
attracting busy lines of ants.
The liquid gold smells sweet, strong and medicinal.
Simply switching senses on
and slowing down.
Attentiveness with great rewards.
Beauty that goes unnoticed is still beauty,
quietly waiting to feed our souls when seen.
I come to you
holding my truth,
with kindness and compassion,
not squashing them in shame.
Even the emotions
that seem ugly,
even those I wish weren’t there.
As I bring them to you
I allow you to hold me,
to meet me
in the place of my honesty,
to listen to me
with care and gentleness.
I don’t want to (or need to)
stay in these emotions for ever,
they are not my whole truth.
But for now,
they need to be heard
and held with kindness,
as you hold me
in my honest truth.
Clay sculpture and poem by Hilary Murdoch 2018
Wow this is just incredible.
I know I shed a tear easily but I shed one with this… the beauty and power of love and encouragement spoken even to a stranger, just so beautiful. More of this in the world please.
Let’s not just leave it to this lady. Who could you write an encouraging note to?
I came across this beautiful blessing written by a friend of mine. It brought a few things to mind that I thought I’d share as some starting points for reflection. You may want to use this to look back and look forward in this time between Christmas and New Year, or if you find a moment in January to sit down with a journal. Maybe you could even take a day out for a retreat?
May all that has got lost in you, be found again
May your path be lit by stars as you renew your journey tonight
May the voices you hear echo the love of the angels (‘do not be afraid’) and may your words to yourself be ever so gentle
May you receive the gifts you have sought but more importantly, may you be reminded of the gift you have been to many this year
May your life be observed with eyes of beauty by those who surround you
May you be strengthened with attentiveness as deep as Mary’s for her child
May you know that there is One who watches all your new births and all your growing.
May you be blessed this Christmas and may God’s shalom be within, around and above you through the new year.
By Philomène Luyindula Lasoen
This beautiful drawing really caught my attention at the Grahamstown Arts Festival last year. It got me thinking. It’s become a metaphor image for an ongoing conversation with God for the past year.
The story it depicts is of a lady ‘who had lived a sinful life’ who gate crashed a dinner party where Jesus was being entertained by men from the religious elite. She crouches at Jesus’ feet and weeps, washes his feet with her tears, dries them with her hair and pours precious perfume on them.
If you just imagine the scene for a moment. This was a posh dinner party, people keen to impress the ‘teacher’. People putting their best foot forward, trying to sound intelligent. The best dishes were out.
Everyone knew that this woman stood out like a sore thumb. They were shocked that Jesus was letting her touch him. Doesn’t he know what kind of person this is?! They were trying to ignore her but she was making that difficult.
Can you imagine… the noise, the weeping, the mess, the snot. All over Jesus’ feet. The disruption, the intimacy and the disrespect is shocking. Imagine how horrified and offended everyone was.
Everyone apart from Jesus. He doesn’t seem to mind at all.
In fact he turns to the religious guys and asks ‘do you see this woman?’ and then commends her. He compared their hospitality and welcome of him to hers, and she comes out top in his opinion.
I’ve been thinking. The implication in his question ‘do you see this woman?’ is that he sees her. He sees her and receives her in all the mess of her raw emotions, snot and reality.
So often when I’m feeling in an emotional mess I want to sort myself out before I come to God. But this image and story has so powerfully spoken to me about Jesus’ ability to cope with, even welcome, my mess.
He is more able to meet us deeply if we come to him honestly where we are at, rather than presenting where we think we should be. If we are pretending to be somewhere we are not, he can’t meet us there.
So I’m trying to come to God as I am. I am using journalling to tell God the reality of how I feel, rather than trying to resolve it or fix it before I come to him. It’s wonderful to experience what it feels like for him to ‘see me’ and love me in the midst of where I am. It’s been freeing and so comforting.
The drawing is based on Luke 7:36-46
The artwork is by Jonathan Griffiths and is available for sale if anyone is interested.
You can contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org