It is surprising what has happened in the course of the week since the last time I wrote. Form filled, another benefit through, new chemotherapy started. There have been dark days and dark thoughts. Also times I realised I have lots to be thankful for, we have had some fantastic meals, and I am now able to contribute to the cooking (sometimes). Friends have rung me up unexpectedly. In terms of nature the bird song through the open window in the early morning is a delight. Sometimes God has felt close at other times not very near at all. When things are taken from us (like freedom of movement) then it is the time to treasure what we can do and enjoy, but there will be dark days.
During the past week I have been encouraged through my readings to think about ‘liminal places’ places where heaven and earth meet, times when things are so dark but yet God can be so close, times when you realise you are part of a bigger whole, that you have links with the whole of humanity. Sunday’s reading referred to the gateway in a sheep pen and the sheep passing in and out. I realised that life was a bit like this, times when we felt safe and secure, but to eat (and grow!) sheep have to go out of the pen and follow the shepherd. But occasionally we are passing through that gate and we come as it were within touching place of the shepherd.
One of the quotes (from Sheryl Fullerton) that made me think of our times was this: What if we can choose to experience this liminal space and time, this uncomfortable now, as a place and state of creativity, of construction and deconstruction, choice and transformation?
So if you are having dark times, take time to be still and quiet and see if you can hear the small still voice of God, touch the hem of the garment of Jesus, sometimes it is hard and nigh on impossible, those are the times to remember that the Good Shepherd cares for you and is with you to the ends of the world.
There are things which can unite us with at least some of humanity this week: clapping at 8 p.m. Celebrating VE day, making bunting for the house, eating scones and jam (and Cornish clotted cream of course) on Friday. Joining in the silence at 11am.
We can unite with our church family through the act of worship each Sunday; by keeping in touch with each other by phone etc. helping out where we can, and with the whole of humanity, especially the poor and vulnerable through giving to well recognised charities.
So this time is a time and space where light and dark meet, paradoxes meld together in us and in others.
May the Lord bless us and keep us,
May the Lord lift up His countenance upon us and give us peace.