Monthly Message

when I see you again

I will trace the tears on your face

with a wondering finger

as we both weep

when I see you again

I will hold you close and long

as if we were lovers

and I would never let you go

when I see you again

I will marvel at your fragile form

and imagine holding your precious life

in the palms of my hands

when I see you again

we will laugh like thirsty travellers

finding water in the desert

flinging gouts of joy into the sky

when I see you again

I will be grateful for all I took for granted..

and by God’s grace

we will live fresh-eyed and wondering in the world

like creatures newly born

 

Author Tina Hodgett 3 January 2021 

On rest and thankfulness

 

I write this on the eve of the day I think of as my Sabbath Rest day, which isn’t a Sunday. I look forward to that day as a time to change the rhythm from the working week; a day that offers opportunities for a different pattern of activity and sometimes a chance to enjoy doing ‘nothing’. Calling it ‘nothing’ sounds negative and sometimes leads to thinking that I ought instead to be doing ‘something’.

 

In truth, I think this is much more like the pause at the end of a slow, steady breath which is a place of profound and efficient stillness before breathing returns to the next steady pulse in or out. It has the same sense of joyful completion that I get at the end of a perfectly executed swimming stroke or when the last item of cutlery is put away after the washing up. It is the moment of ‘nothing’ in which I notice that what is given is enough.

 

The pause of the one day in seven gives beauty to the week past and renewal for the week forward. Constancy in the pattern of days, weeks, months and  years is a source of peace and content, a firm foundation for the moments of extreme effort or times that require sustained resilience.

 

Fairly recently I was asked if I had enjoyed a year with less work with the churches closed. I thought how much difference there is between a time of chosen, set aside rest – whether sabbath or holy day/ holiday and the time of enforced restraint and limitation that I have experienced over the last fifteen months or so, some of which no doubt will continue into the weeks and months ahead.

 

I have been  surprised at the depth of weariness this time of enforced inaction brings in its wake.  The psalmist’s cry: How long O Lord, how long has often risen in my prayers. By contrast times of chosen sabbath or holy holiday open space in which gratitude returns and resources me for the fret and frenzy of daily life. 

May you too find ways to balance enforced inaction and chosen rest so that thankfulness is renewed