Friday, 9 March 2012

Show me now your glory

Morning, Lord. 

For a couple of days I've had a couple of lines from a song in my head. It's not a song I know very well, and the tune doesn't really grab me, but it's on my worship CD in the car and I hear the start of it sometimes when I put the music on. That probably explains why I only know the opening two lines - I tend to flick to the next track because I don't like this one much (is that wrong? Are you put out that I ignore a song that praises you? Oh dear. Hadn't thought about that much.)

'Show me your ways, show me now your glory.
I want to know you more.'

It's been going round in my head. I was humming it to myself and I found that I was starting to consider what it actually means. I can't argue with the second line - I would love to know you more. It's the demanding tone of the first line that I shrink from, a bit. It sounds a bit stampy to me. 

Show me. Now. 

I know that Moses said these very words to you in Exodus 33: 18

"Then Moses said, 'Now show me your glory.'"

...and you did. You passed by Moses and he got a glimpse of you. Not a hypothetical glimpse, or a symbolic one, but he saw you. Just the back of you, as a full gaze in the face would have blown his mind, but you showed your glory to Moses. He asked you to (or told you to, really - I mean, how did he dare to lay down the law like that? 'Now show me...')

So this song.

'Show me your ways, show me now your glory.
I want to know you more.'

I was walking back from taking the children to school and I noticed the first blossom on a tree on our road. 

Now, you know how much I love Springtime. I love the hope and the newness and the life emerging from things that look old and brittle and dead. Here's the blossom. As I turned into our drive I found more.

It's very beautiful. The light was lovely; it was a very cloudy day but the light was that bright whiteness that sometimes helps to draw my attention to the small things when sunlight and shadow might distract me.  Thankyou for the cherry blossom. I can't wait until the whole of the tree is smothered with it and the sky is blue behind and the world is waking up again and we can shed a layer of clothing and I can start to potter in the greenhouse.

I went home and started to load some photographs from my camera and phone onto the computer and I was still humming the lines,

'Show me your ways, show me now your glory.
I want to know you more.'

The new pictures flashed up on the screen and here was my little girl getting ready for a fancy dress party. Elizabeth had on a princess costume and she was feeling very elegant in it. My little girl, six years old, but all of a sudden with a new demeanour because she was dressed in a beautiful outfit with her hair taken back and ribbons. 

I realised what you were doing. 

Your glory is all around me. Everywhere I look I see you. I see you in the delicate fragility of the cherry blossom and I see you in the innocence and femininity of my lovely girl who's finding out more and more about who she is every day. What she is. A breathtakingly beautiful creation. Unique and precious and loved. My love for her pales into insignificance compared with yours. My daughters are such special gifts. Your glory is reflected in everything, isn't it?

More photos and I kept on meeting you. Sunset from a week ago.

One of those moments where I was out in the garden with the children and glanced up and then ran for the camera and a good vantage point. The sun had set already but the reflection on the clouds was the radiance of you. Glory indeed.

Then it was back to the intricate and detailed again.  Here was my poinsettia from Christmas and I have to say that I have known for a while that it is nothing short of a miracle that my Christmas poinsettia is still with me in March. It is still thriving despite me (though I do make sure that it's water is lukewarm when I give it a drink. Fussy plant...)

Its new leaves, so brightly, vividly green with red veins. Little tiny baby leaves just unfurling. Doing its thing over there on the windowsill as the bustle of family life in the kitchen happens in front of it. As I write this the sun is behind it and it is glowing. Beautiful is an over-used word. It's wonderful.

While we're on the subject of plants, thank you for the little gift you gave me. The cyclamen that I got for my birthday back in September gave its all for me for months and although it still looks green and lush it's been without flowers for a while now. I thought it had done its best but finished for the season and yet all of a sudden, look. A little last flower. It made me smile. It made me think of you. 

It was Katy's birthday the other day. Five years old. Now, I could go on for days about how bewildered I am to be Mummy to two daughters growing up so fast. Katy is five, Elizabeth six, nearly seven. Kate was so excited to be five and her favourite present was a Batman T shirt.  Elizabeth has come over all girly lately with her princess outfit and her baby doll, but Katy is still firmly in the Superhero phase and a real, proper, grownup Batman T shirt hit the spot beautifully on her birthday.

'Show me your ways, show me now your glory.
I want to know you more.'

My little girl was so happy. She felt so brave and dynamic and confident in her Batman T shirt. Watch out world, here comes Katy. Leaping tall buildings in a single bound. Or was that Superman? No matter. She can do that as well.  

Lord God, thank you so so SO much for my girls. How much I can learn from them. From their energy and optimism and imagination. The way that they can find joy in things. Here was my lovely child in a photograph that I love. Her expression a mixture of pride and excitement and happiness. 

 The park on a Sunday afternoon. The joy of a roundabout and rainbow gloves. Hold on tight and feel the wind in your hair.  I thought my heart might explode, I loved them so much. 

Bryan took a day off to be at home for Katy's birthday. It was a great surprise for the girls who thought that he wouldn't be back until Friday as usual and it was such a treat for us to have a day out, just the two of us. Usually Bryan takes holiday when the children are off school so when he's here, usually we're all together. I like it when this happens but on Katy's birthday while she was at school (wearing her birthday badge and Batman T shirt and apparently attracting loads of followers in the playground - the Batkids - don't you just love it?) Bryan and I headed out for the countryside. It was like the old days. When we first moved back to Derbyshire we used to get in the car and drive and stop when there was a good view, or for a bit of a walk, or more often, for coffee and cake. 

Today it was a drizzly, windy sort of day where the moors look somewhat threatening and the cliffs and crags of the High Peak are a bit intimidating; but there was one moment when we were ambling along a country lane with no other people to be seen and suddenly the clouds parted and the sun came out. I stopped the car and rolled down my window and took a picture of what I saw. 

It's not a special scene; dry stone walling is all over Derbyshire and the grass is not very green, the trees bare - but it was a special moment. Seconds earlier it had been unremitting rain under dark, low clouds and then suddenly it was glorious. Grey to gold in a moment - and then back again. This was the moment. Your glory shone through the drizzle.

It was on the news this week that there have been solar flares that meant that it might be possible to see the Northern Lights at lower latitudes than usual. I am a big fan of the Northern Lights, as you know. Bryan and I went on a flight a couple of years ago where the plane put out all its lights and we had talks on the star constellations over the North Pole and we saw the Aurora from the sky. It was breathtaking.

I have always wanted to go to Norway or somewhere and sit outside with a Thermos or two of coffee (or something stronger) and wait for the Aurora Borealis and see it from the ground.  The leaps and swoops and the dancing lights that are a mysterious and joyful present from you, the God Almighty. The one who created all things. Awe-inspiring indeed. Majestic and strange and exciting and spiritual. 

So, there was me the other night hoping to see something if I looked skywards after dark. I popped out into the garden a few times (once forgetting to change out of my slippers and getting them all wet and muddy on the grass) and gazing up into the sky in case of - something - I wasn't really sure what I'd see but I didn't want to miss it. 

What I did see last night took my breath away and I pointed my camera at it in case I could keep it forever. 

Oh God, it was a little glimpse of you. 

The moon with a halo of colour and the clouds like a mountain range. The glow of moonlight lit everything. It changed from moment to moment and then a thick bank of cloud hid it again. Again, mystery. Again, silent but awe-inspiring. You shone through.

'Show me your ways, show me now your glory.
I want to know you more.'

I am running out of words to describe your glory. Indeed the words don't exist. They didn't for Moses, who had to hide behind a rock to be safe from the awe-ful wonder of you, and they didn't for me last night leaning a perilously long way out of my bedroom window to take photograph after photograph of the moon as it rose inexorably into the sky and the clouds changed the picture moment by moment.

All I had to do was look up. How easy it would have been to have missed this spectacle? It was over so quickly and I had to be looking up to see this amazingly precious thing. I spend so much of my life looking down, or inwards, or with my eyes stubbornly closed but this night I looked up - you lifted my head until our eyes met.

I asked you to show me, and you did. I got a glimpse of your majesty. Your beauty. Your creativity. In the blossom and the weather and in my plants and my daughters the complexity and humour and detail and perfect beauty that only the Creator can bring about.

Thankyou from the bottom of my heart. I sat on the windowsill smiling.

More, please. 

1 comment:

  1. Amen. I love your catalogue of moments and experiences all revealing God's glOry in different ways and shapes. More please indeed :)


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