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Monday, 27 February 2017

Slippin' and slidin'

It was a cold wind tickling round our ears as Mary and I headed down the road for our Monday morning walk. Although the sun shone out of a clear blue sky and the great outdoors seemed to be shouting SPRINGTIME, we were bundled up.

What we hadn’t anticipated, stupidly, was the frozen ground wherever the trees cast shadows on the road. The walk through the forest was particularly hazardous but fortunately neither of us fell, despite a few slips along the way.

Life can be like that. Light-hearted and full of the joys, along life’s way there are sudden stretches which can occasion slips and slides and injuries. Caution is good, but so is risk, calculated risk. Nobody gets anywhere if at the first sign of danger, they stop or turn back.

I am with you, Jesus says. On the high and the low roads.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Gone for Good

Two days ago, the carpet of snowdrops and sprinkling of golden and purple crocus disappeared under a white blanket of snow. Today the sun beams out of a windswept sky – clouds streaking through the blue expanse – and those battered bulbs are raising their weary heads. 

Sometimes it seems that it’s the vulnerable and precious who are dumped on in life. Good to know that bad things are like the snow, quickly disappearing in the warmth of God’s love. It can seem that his love is slow in coming at times, but when it breaks through, the beauty of those battered lives is breath-taking.

Come to me, Jesus invites us. If you’re tired out and weary and needing a rest, he’s the one to go to. Keep company with me, he says, and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.

One day all the bad things will be gone forever.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

A Snow Day!

A snow day! Yippee!

Sometimes we yearn for a referee to blow a whistle and call time out from the hurly burly of life. To give us time to sit and stare out the window, maybe. To gaze into a blazing fire. To read a bit of Shakespeare or a poem. To snuggle under a duvet and watch a box set.
Grateful that today God blew the whistle.
Of course, he blows the whistle every week. He knows we need time to sit and stare, to regroup, to chill out. He called it a Sabbath. It’s his gift to us.

We shouldn’t feel guilty for taking time out. We were made for a day’s rest. Every week.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Blooming beautiful

Taking a little time, making the effort, binding up the wounds and refreshing one another. That’s what walking each other home is all about.
We took a little time with this wounded amaryllis. Found a suitable support to provide the strength that had been lost in the accident. And now look at it. Not just the one bloom, but two beautiful flowers trumpeting spring.

Whatever you did for the least of these...Jesus wasn’t talking about battered flowers but about battered lives. We are called to come alongside, extend a helping hand, a shoulder, advice, money, love, friendship, whatever is needed for however long.

Life is all about walking each other home. A privilege and a joy, especially as we see others bloom as they were meant to, giving fragrance and beauty to this life.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

All we need is love, and a little help from our friends...

Full of promise, this amaryllis was saved from neglect in the greenhouse and brought into the warmth of the living room. I am excited to see it bloom once again, as it did last year.

But the other night I knocked it off the table onto the floor and wouldn’t you know, the giraffe-neck stem bent over. Instantly Don sprang to my aid and we found a splint, gave it a good restorative drink (just water...) and leaned it against the kitchen cupboard for added support.

Two days later and it is continuing to grow and open. Soon it will be glorious.

We all get knocks in life. We all need splints in the form of good friends and family to put us back together. And when we get such help, we can still bloom, still emit our own sweet fragrance into this beautiful world. 

Jesus said, Love one another, because love is from God. Love. All we need is love. And a little help from our friends...

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Always hope

Just back from a walk. The sun is burning off the early morning mist and it looks like it’s going to be the sort of day where I scrap my To-Do list and head out to the garden.

Everything in the garden is screaming ‘HOPE’. Even beneath the bed of leaves (which I still haven’t cleared up since November), snowdrops and crocus and daffodils and tulips are breaking through the earth and stretching skywards. 

As winter’s grip lessens and the sun lingers longer, higher in the sky, the signs are all there indicating that warmer days are on the way. The monochrome of winter will soon be brightened with the lavish colours of spring. Already the white snowdrops carpet the lawn.

It isn’t just the weather that is seasonal. Our lives are, too. 

Ezekiel had a vision from God, a vision of a valley of dried up old bones. As Ezekiel spoke out the words God gave him, the bones came together and when the Lord breathed into them, they became truly alive.

Time to come out of hibernation, to open ourselves to God and be filled with his Spirit and live. In God, there is always hope.