or think about these words by the American poet, Wendell Berry,
‘The peace of wild things’, is available as a Penguin book. A reviewer has written of it: If you stop and look around you, you’ll start to see.Tall marigolds darkening. A spring wind blowing. The woods awake with sound. On the wooden porch, your love smiling. Dew-wet red berries in a cup. On the hills, the beginnings of green, clover and grass to be pasture. The fowls singing and then settling for the night. Bright, silent, thousands of stars. You come into the peace of simple things.
Joyce wrote about her photo reflection: This Egret also sees ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ !
Spring is a time of new life; new hope after the darkness of Winter. This is no coincidence. This is God’s plan in creation, even when we don’t feel it. We have to learn to read the signs, of which the Egret is one.
There are all sorts of times in our lives when what we might call coincidences happen. Ways ahead become clear, solutions happen, and there is light at the end of tunnels. Maybe sometimes, when our faith is hard and brittle, something beautiful happens to raise our spirits or we find in a quiet moment that God is there, near us, after all.
My problem with all these ‘coincidences’ is that I don’t believe in coincidences. Everything has a plan and a purpose. When we are ‘surprised’ by something that happens which speaks to our souls then we are having what I call a God Moment. This is the time when God acts in our lives in a surprising or special way.
It’s vitally important to believe in God Moments because it reminds us that we are in God’s hands and whatever we are going through, good or bad, is watched over by God. In Isaiah Chapter 43 v1 we hear God tells His people, I have called you by name, you are mine. It is because of this that there will always by God Moments in our lives – times when something happens which God has planned to happen because we are His. Sometimes, sadly, we don’t believe this to be true. So it’s worthwhile praying the words in Joyce’s reflection from the first letter of John.
God is Light. In him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5b)
These photos were taken in the Vicarage Garden at St. Mary-at-Latton, Harlow by our Vicar, Lynn Hurry.
The young fox is waiting to give birth and knows that she is in a safe place with someone watching over her and giving her food when she is most vulnerable. On this Earth Day (April 22nd) many fine words have been said and gestures made with well-meaning intentions, but it is in Vicarage gardens like this one, where small acts of kindness towards those with whom we share God’s earth’ that huge statements are made. Doing small things with great care for all God’s Creation are special and effective when they are done with great love (as Mother Teresa of Calcutta used to say.)
A PRAYER FOR EARTH DAY
Creator God, We acknowledge that as your handiwork, we stand alongside all that you have made. Trees and rivers, mountains and valleys, soaring birds and scuttling creatures, all are held within your care. May we grow in our love and appreciation for the fabulous variety around us; and may our awe and wonder draw us closer to the natural world, and through it to you, the God of all things. We pray in Jesus name, Amen
Revd Cate Williams, Mission and Evangelism Officer Diocese of Gloucester
My friend Joyce Smith has sent me this lovely tweet :
“This little kingfisher posed for about 15 minutes at Fisher’s Green. We might have been looking for the elusive bittern, but the kingfisher certainly made the trip worthwhile!”
We live in an ‘instant’ society where we want immediate action, results or answers. This is true in Christian terms too. Many prayers are filled with demands or browbeating God. But in our relationship with God there is a need for us to be patient. Had Joyce failed to be patient she might have missed the Kingfisher. The ‘elusive bittern’ is a joy to come on another day. The Kingfisher kindly offered an alternative view. It must have sensed a bit of disappointment because it stayed still, posing for about 15 minutes. Long enough to enjoy its colourful presence. Long enough to remind us that sometimes it is the things least expected which bring us joy and enlightenment.
The Psalmist tells us to be still and wait patiently for God to drop by.
There is a Taizé song, Wait for the Lord, sung often in Advent, but appropriate to think about at any time (or even sing!) when we long for God or for a sign of his presence.
The Taizé song tells us that God’s day is always near. His presence is close to us but we must prepare our hearts to receive him and clear away all the things that might get in the way and stop us meeting Him. His ‘Glory’ is rightly portrayed often as an amazing display of God’s holiness which is a shewing of God’s presence. It’s posh name is from the Greek, Theophany. An obvious example is the Transfiguration of Jesus on the Holy Mountain. A spectacular event but personally it is when we see God not with our eyes but in our hearts where God reveals himself in a special way. It may be an awesome thing but it is a source of rejoicing because, as the Taizé song and Joyce’s kingfisher tells us, those who seek and wait for God will be rewarded with joy and gladness.
Wait for the Lord, his day is near Wait for the Lord, be strong take heart Prepare the way for the Lord Make a straight path for Him The Glory of the Lord shall be revealed All the Earth will see the Lord Rejoice in the Lord always He is at Hand Joy and gladness for all who seek the Lord