Your old friend CS Lewis said this:
'We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade the presence of God. The world is crowded with Him. He walks everywhere incognito.'
I think this is true. I don't have a big brain, and so I can't quite get my head around it, this thing about the Creator of the universe who is so unimaginably huge that holds the galaxies in his hand, yet wants to know me. Wants to share in the minutiae of my life. In the same way I don't really grasp what it means that you are everywhere.
|I saw you.|
The thing is, I have noticed that some days I have eyes that see you and some days it's as if I'm walking round with my eyes shut. Some days you're everywhere and others you're nowhere to be found. I've come to realise that the former is true, even on the other sort of days. Sometimes I want to see you and my eyes and my mind is open and ready and eager to experience you, and then there are the times when I have my eyes screwed shut and my fingers in my ears and I'm shouting 'lalalala' rather than risk bumping into you. It doesn't mean that you're not there, though.
And when I do see you all around me, I realise that the days when I ignore you are days when I miss out on so much.
This week we've had unseasonably warm weather. I had the opportunity to sit in the garden and do nothing because my older daughter was home from school poorly. We saw a dozen different types of bird on the bird table and splashing in the bird bath and we saw ladybirds and caterpillars and the most enormous bumble bee I have ever seen in my life. Spring is appearing all around me and in the last seven days the bare brown branches of trees have a haze of green on them. The magnolias have budded and blossomed and the leaves are starting to emerge. Shoots of plants that I'd forgotten about are starting to push through the heavy soil that desperately needs a bit of a dig. The grass was cut for the first time this year. The greenhouse is clean (ish) and I have packets of seeds that I'm looking forward to sowing. Soon, when the risk of frost is gone I'll pot up my bedding plants and wheel out the big yucca again and the front of the house will be in its summer plumage again.
It's not just the signs of Spring that make me think of you. This week has not been a great one for me and yet you have been close by my side and I've been aware of you. Even at the moments that I've been least loveable, I have known that you have loved me.
On Tuesday night my daughter Elizabeth told me that she didn't feel as if I loved her. This was after a particularly explosive bath and bedtime where we were all upset and angry but it hurt me very much. I cried and cried. I felt like an utter failure as a mother. The next day and the next, Elizabeth was poorly and we got to spend lots of time together. She needed her mummy and I was only too pleased to be needed. On Friday Lizzie made it back to school, a little pale and wraith-like, perhaps, but it was her class assembly and the last day of term before the Easter break so I said yes.
We went to see her assembly and it was lovely. In typical Lizzie fashion she hadn't told us what her part(s) were in the assembly and it turned out that she read some bits, held up some pieces of work and then was the dove that left Noah's ark and came back with the olive branch to show that the waters were receding. She was a beautiful little dove in her pretty summer dress doing a fluttery dance around the 'ark'.
I was very proud.
Healing indeed. I hope I don't drop the ball again too soon.
You are indeed everywhere. In the darkness and the light. In the colour and the shadows. In happiness and misery. In success and failure.
You're there in the Spring blossom and you're there when a child is sick. You're there in the middle of the night in the bathroom and you're there in the sun in the back garden. You're there loving me when we are ashamed of ourselves and you're there loving us when we think we're doing alright. There's forgiveness and acceptance and love.
|Thankyou for being there.|
for my family
for healing - physical and emotional
that Spring comes after Winter
for bumble bees and hairy caterpillars and ladybirds
that dead things come alive again
that there's nothing I can do to make you love me more
that there's nothing I can do to make you love me less
Lord, keep my eyes open. The world is a darker place when I can't see you. Keep me looking and finding and noticing.