My friend, Joyce Smith, has sent me another of her Photo Tweets. The baby swans (cygnets) are beginning their life on earth so hopefully and with determination! Thank You, Joyce.
New Birth, new growth, new light are all signs that our natural world in the Northern Hemisphere just now is turning towards Spring.
Even the storms of the past ten days haven’t deterred the journey of Nature and that will be true of human conflict in the war Russia is waging at present, aided by Putin’s Puppet in Belarus.
Charlie Mackesy in his beautiful book, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, says that the best thing about storms are that they end. As we are now living through the storm caused by Putin it’s something to cling on to. This storm will pass! says Mackesy.
Maybe those words wouldn’t bring any comfort in the Ukraine right now nor for some time to come but history teaches us that despots and tyrants are, in cosmic terms, short-lived. The 20th century had a number of them – Hitler, Musolini, Stalin, Franco, Mao, Pol-Pot for example. They created havoc and chaos for a while and destroyed peoples’ lives as they demand obedience to their warped and demonic ideas.
We remember them now for the evil they did and the destruction they left behind. This is the work of the devil and it prospers because we have lost any real sense of the demonic. I think it was possibly C S Lewis who maintained that the greatest victory the devil has is when we don’t believe he exists.
Mostly he is a mischief maker because, in truth, he is already defeated. Christianity maintains that defeat was by Jesus Christ who, sacrificially, poured out love as God’s way of defeating darkness, and sinfulness and unlove.
Even so, there are times when the devil can turn the minds of the weak and tortured. Analysts with far more skill than I have, are already delving into the character of Putin and some fascinating things are beginning to emerge.
He is supposedly a practicing Orthodox Christian. I wonder what his priest will be saying to him on Sunday? I think we can guess it won’t be controversial.
The ‘Storm’ will pass but not just yet so the Jewish Proverb has something important to tell us. We are encouraged to turn to God. As in the story of the Prodigal Son, we will then find God running to us.
The Novelist Patrick White in his novel, Solid Mandela quoted some words possibly by the French poet, Paul Éluard : There is another world, but it is in this one.
We find God in unexpected places and especially when we are surrounded by danger, filled with despair and almost paralysed by anxiety.
We do not know how the raging war against Ukraine will turn out and the aftermath is full of unhappy consequences and foreboding.
But in the midst of that desperate world, the other world continues to show signs of hope and of God.
As the lovely Jewish Proverb tells us; We should walk towards it – maybe only one step but enough to know that it illuminates our world with God’s and He rushes towards us to enfold us with His love.
So Joyce’s photo of the little cygnets is itself a message to us to try to trust in and cherish the tender signs of love which come to us from the heart of God’s world and from His Nature. A world of which we are always a part.