Julian of Norwich, the fourteenth century English mystic took a tiny hazelnut, placed it in the palm of her hand, and examined it closely. She contemplated it – that is she really looked at it. In that tiny thing she saw the whole of creation and behind the creation she caught a glimpse of the One who made the hazelnut and also made her. This is what she wrote:
And He showed me more. A little thing, the size of a hazelnut round lie a ball, on the palm of my hand. I looked at it thoughtfully and wondering, “What is it?” and the answer came back, “It is all that is made.” I marvelled that it continued to exist, both now and for ever, because God loves it”. In short everything owes its existence to the love of God.
Now take something in your own hand: a leaf, a seed, an acorn or flower,
It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it is small and natural. Look at it, God made it, God made you, God called you into being, God holds you in being. Look and be still. Such stillness is the beginning of prayer. Stillness enables us to pay attention to the loving Other in our midst. Silence pushes us on the path to wholeness.