Popular Posts

Monday, 30 October 2017

No Photo

No photo, but the image is emblazoned in my mind. As I came up the road yesterday afternoon, half the sky was grey/black, and the other clear blue. The rain started to fall.

Rising up from the earth was a pointed shaft of rainbow, looking like a neon Excalibur. As I drove, I saw this vibrant point extend and grow into a complete arc. The colours were so vivid that they echoed in the sky: a double rainbow. 

It was breath-taking and I kept thinking I should stop and take a picture. But the road was twisty, the rain was falling, and instead, I just drank it in.

A friend recently returned from seeing wild animals in South Africa said that he didn’t take that many pictures, because when you’re behind the camera you miss the rich array of what else is going on. How true.

When something is stunning, we want to hold on to it. We want to capture it and relive it later. We want to share it so others can experience the wonder we feel. Even the best photo, though, doesn’t do justice to the experience.

Sometimes we need to just receive. Yesterday’s double rainbow read like a love letter from God to me. Never mind he was sending the same love letter to all who looked up at the sky. There was an intimacy in the encounter which would have been lost had I stressed about finding a safe place to stop and being careful not to get the phone wet in the rain.

Enjoy the moment. It’s a glorious autumn day here in the northeast, and I get to drive south for an hour to look after a precious grandson for the afternoon. I’ll be on the lookout for more rainbows, but if none appear, I’ve got yesterday’s stored in my cache.

Happy Monday.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Careless Words Kill

 Careless words kill: during World War II, people were warned to be careful what they said in case sensitive information fell on enemy ears. 

James warns us to watch what we say, because the tongue is a source of real evil and pain. Jesus advises that we should let our ‘yes’ be yes, without swearing it by anyone or anything.
Keep it short. 

I’m struggling to write a short article. The struggle is mainly because of its abbreviated length. I want to say so much. Somehow I have to condense it, distil it so that only its essence is left.

Good practice for daily living.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Proactive or Reactive?

Proactive or reactive? Most of my life has been lived reactively. I think as a mother of four, grandmother of four, only living child of an ageing mother, wife of a self-employed man, I have always been the one to fill in the gaps. The floater who can be asked at the last minute for a favour, a helping hand. And it is a privilege to be able to move in alongside those I love and be available to lend a helping hand. 

Can that be said to be a calling? The one who plugs the gaps? 


When I look at Jesus, I see there a proactive man who knew when the time was right, and when it wasn’t. Who wouldn’t be pressured by family who thought he’d lost the plot, nor driven by friends whose brother was dying. Proactively directing his steps – or was he? He also said that he did only what he saw his father in heaven doing. Reactive.

Discerning what our Father in heaven is doing, and what Jesus is calling and equipping us to with his Holy Spirit: that’s the key to a fulfilled life. Learning to discern takes time, I’ve found. 

At my age, I’m still learning. Meanwhile, I hover over my laptop with one ear alert to the moving of our friends who are visiting, knowing that any moment they will be down and I will be making coffee, breakfast, chatting. Reactive or proactive, life is a blessing.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Rose Hips

Lurking behind the two ancient gooseberry bushes is a dog rose. I think they call them dog roses? The wild ones that end up with rose hips at this time of year. Which is the point: I never noticed the rose during the summer, but now that leaves are dropping, denuding brown branches and exposing a fairly monochrome vista, I notice the bright red rose hips. And smile.

Had I seen the wild rose there earlier, and had I the energy, I might have chopped it down, thinking to leave space for the gooseberries. But why? I don’t even particularly like gooseberries...

Sometimes we are surprised by things which suddenly appear. Things of beauty, which we thought were wild weeds, which we might have rejected, discarded.

There is an unresolved situation I’m thinking of, something causing a rumble of disquiet. I lift my eyes to the hills, not to ask their help but to be reminded of the power and love of God, and I ask him for a surprise in this situation. Beautiful colour to appear on this messy canvas. Rose hips flashing on a monochrome landscape.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

A Singing Father God

‘He will rejoice over you with singing.’ 

I was sitting in the prayer window this morning, enjoying the beauty of the fast-falling golden leaves and noticing that the barer the trees get, the clearer the view. In the profusion of life, vision can be blocked by the lushness of relationships, responsibilities and requirements. Hemmed in – though many of the obstructions are much loved and enjoyed – we can lose sight of what lies beyond. It’s as the leaves begin to drop and the profusion is stripped away, that we can see the view and anticipate the journey.

So Scolty has reappeared, as the Norwegian elm drops her summer attire. And Clach na Ben.

Oops, that was a wee diversion. I was actually going to say that while asking God this morning if I could please hear him singing – wouldn’t it be awesome to hear his voice? Would it be operatic, hip-hop, pop, reggae, chorister?  – I was suddenly aware of the trilling, chirping and chatter of the birds in the larch tree. Singing. Singing.

Sometimes when I ask for the supernatural, I’m answered in the ordinary. The beautiful ordinary becomes extraordinary. My hearing of the birdsong has acquired a new depth, a greater meaning.

He’s rejoicing over you, too.

Monday, 23 October 2017


Vintage Fisher Price boy, baseball cap sideways, red freckles scattered over a grumpy face, found lurking under a living room chair. That – and the sheets and towels hanging up drying – remind us of a weekend of laughter and fun as most of the family gathered. Four wee cousins together for the first time: precious. Priceless moments to be savoured.

Blessing upon blessing. By coincidence (!), our reading this morning was Isaiah 61:1-3. Verse 3 was God’s promise last year, a promise graciously fulfilled: during this year we have watched and experienced God’s loving hand on our lives, comforting all who mourn, bestowing a crown of beauty instead of ashes, anointing with the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and bedecking us all in a garment of praise as wee Eliott joins cousins Callan, Felicity and Gregor. 

God is good. As peace settles back on this rather empty home, our memories pop with moments relived, of laughter and joy, love and conversation, fun and an unspoken communion between us all. 

Happy Monday.