Category Archives: emotions

Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Blackbird in a crabapple tree,  Andrew Murdoch
I hear birdsong more now.
They say, “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer but because it has a song”.
In this time when we don’t have answers, let’s not pretend we have answers
but maybe we can find our song. 
I am noticing and feeling my emotions more (although it’s tempting to squash them).
Random emotions popping up, sadness, frustration…
all part of the jumble of the grief we are all feeling..
loss of certainty, loss of safety, loss of connection, loss of normalcy.
Emotions from long past situations and losses are reemerging.
I wept deeply last night about the death of someone close to me years ago. I miss their presence now.
The release was good, healthy but now I’m exhausted and I know that’s normal.
Do I have the courage to feel these emotions, hear them, acknowledge them,
let them be released and pass through me,
see what they have to teach me, and how I can be more free?
I’m loving this recent painting of my dad’s of a blackbird in a tree of berries.
And I’m loving the song Blackbird by the Beatles.
What might it be saying to you?
Can we sing even in the dead of night?
Can we take our broken wings and learn to fly?
Can we take our sunken eyes and learn to see?
What good do you see around you… even in the light of the dark black night?

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free
Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night

Words of encouragement change lives


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?

Come as you are

Charcoal drawing Copyright Jonathan Griffiths


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