wandering in wonder

sharing, on a pilgrims journey

a little break

having really only just starting this blogging lark, I’m having a little break! (what a slacker!!).

I hope you find plenty to wonder at this Christmas and at New Year celebrations…there’s SO much symbolism around – we should all have a whale of a time thinking deep thoughts about it all! ūüôā

Catch you in ’08!

December 24, 2007 Posted by | Advent | Leave a comment

Woody!

I had a nice surprise in my garden yesterday! Here my photo!!

¬†largeframefor-blog.jpg¬†okay. I’ll stop cheating! I cropped it to share….

 woodycroppedlowres.jpghaving the Green Woodpecker in the garden was lovely Рshe stayed for ages! she must have liked something in the grass as she was quite busy!

playing with the photos made me think about how much i can miss when i only see from a distance – for me, it made me think about taking the trouble to look, expecting to ‘see’ beauty and good in the world, and also about¬†to think¬†that¬†sometimes all I can do is trust there’s something there when i can’t see it for myself…¬† I’ll stop thinking now!!

December 21, 2007 Posted by | Beauty, Nature, Surprise | Leave a comment

Peas…??

picture-0272.jpg a new take on an old message?!!

December 20, 2007 Posted by | Peace | | Leave a comment

God and the diary!

I changed all my plans around yesterday. I’d had a¬†2pm meeting, 45 miles away. The local school wanted me to come to their 4-7 year olds nativity play. I told them I couldn’t (it was at 2pm). Then so many teachers asked me independantly, I felt it was important,

so I phoned the 2pm commitment, and we changed it to 11am…¬†so I could leave at 12.30, chase back here in time for¬†the 2pm nativity. Marvellous.

Afterwards (it was lovely,¬†by the way! aah!!), a lad I know started chatting to me, kept me a few minutes more than I’d planned to stay… hmm…running late to get errands done…never mind…haven’t seen him for a while, lovely lad, give him some time and attention.

As I left, I just so happened to be exactly at the right place on the path to see a ‘mum’ I haven’t seen for ages and have been concerned about. Perfect timing, and I was able to spend some time having a chat with her, which we both valued.

Is this about God’s order? My plans¬†got completely swapped about, my errands were delayed… but, strangely,¬†I was in exactly the right place at the right time… for a person I didn’t know I’d see… little miracles of God’s ordering that happen all the time, if we can but notice them…

December 18, 2007 Posted by | People, timing | , | Leave a comment

Andy for Advent?

fpf1584waiting-posters.jpg¬† a perfect Advent message from Andy Warhol’s art works?

I think it’s true… I’m actually more excited about the presents I was given yesterday and will have to wait a couple of weeks to unwrap (yes, I’m squishing them to guess what they are!), than I will be when I get to open things immediately. They’ll be nice too, but the anticipation is part of the¬†fun of it all.

Perhaps that’s part of what Advent is about – learning to enjoy not being ‘there yet’ (‘are we there yet?’), but learning to enjoy ‘being here now’…

December 16, 2007 Posted by | Advent, Art | , , , , | Leave a comment

Peace and Faith

I saw a film the other day, ‘The Imam and The Pastor’ (more details on the page, ‘a peace initiative on film’). It’s only 40 minutes long, but it really struck at the heart of some of my cynicism.

I love talk of peace, but I¬†find it hard to apply it to reality sometimes, what with the TV blasting pictures of current¬†wars and strife, shootings and stabbings,¬†at me all the time (yes, yes, I just switch it off after a¬†bit!). I find Quaker protests for peace challenging and inspiring, but find it hard to connect with the idea that peace in¬†the¬†world¬†is actually possible.¬†A case of ‘if I was going there, I wouldn’t start from here!’

For me, Pacifism is an ideal that I love, but just can’t see how it could work in a macro way with the world we’re in right now…and sadly, despite believing in pacifism,¬†I¬†turned out not to be a true pacifist when someone I love was under threat… (not that I¬†was strong enough to¬†do damage!)¬†

This film reminded me in a profound way that peace starts where I am, where we are, and that that witness can be powerful and can make a difference.  

¬†These guys were literally killing each¬†other’s families, yet found a call from each¬†their own faiths to find a¬†way to forgive. It’s¬†very challenging stuff.

Time to re-read those¬†Quaker¬†calls for peace again… and prepare¬†for the community screening of this film in January…

(there are screening dates on the web site:  http://www.fltfilms.org.uk/imam.html

¬†the real deal - ‚ÄėThe Imam and The Pastor‚Äô visiting¬†London¬†photo of ‘The Imam and The Pastor’ visiting London for the London Premier of the documentary film about them and their peace initiatives.

December 13, 2007 Posted by | Interfaith, Pacifism, Peace, People, Quaker | Leave a comment

what gives life?

I’ve been thinking more¬†about the ‘lively leap’ of our spirits as we recognise God (see yesterdays post).

there is so much that speaks of God and calls us to life, ‘lively leaping’ life of joy, and I wonder if we get distracted and ‘tune out’, or, if we’ve not yet recognised God, are so generally distracted that we miss out altogether. do we end up in drudge?

I feel a call to be re-mindful of the joy of finding God¬†and actively seek the times and spaces which enable¬†me to connect or ‘tune in’ to God…¬†to get better at deliberately, actively seeking out the things that give¬†me life, that root and ground me, that connect me to God… a few seconds silence, music I love, dancing about¬†(make sure no-one’s watching!), sitting with a lit candle, being attentive to the beauty of the world… ¬†

‘I came that you might have life, life in all abundance…’ (Jesus, in John 10 verse 10, Bible)…with spirits that have a lively leap…!

December 12, 2007 Posted by | Joy, Life | Leave a comment

“leap up with lively joy”

Thomas Merton, looking at Advent sermons by Guerric of Igny, talks about the ‘quickening’ of foetus John-the-Baptist in Elizabeths womb when she met with Mary (herself pregnant with Jesus).

He sees¬†that ‘quickening’¬†as something we can (should? do?) experience – he¬†calls it “..a renewal in us of this shock of recognition…that ‘click’ that takes place in the human heart when we realise the Saviour is come and is seeking us…” and suggests that, “our spirits should leap up wtih lively joy to rise up and meet our Saviour…”

What d’ya reckon then? ready to have your spirit ‘leap up with lively joy’?!

I love this idea, the quickening¬†of the spirit, internal recognition that is beyond the intellect and is about ‘knowing’ on a different sphere.

I’ve been blessed enough to meet people with whom I’ve had that ‘click’ and sense of my spirit ‘leaping up with lively joy’, and it’s amazing. ¬†I’m guessing you know what I mean!

I guess those things are like a ‘pre-cursor’ of what we can experience if we’re open to God.¬†Here’s to some¬†lively¬†leaping of spirits!¬†¬†

December 11, 2007 Posted by | Advent, Joy, Thomas Merton | Leave a comment

Advent – ‘are we there yet?’

I’ve been thinking this Advent how bad we are (I am!)¬†at enjoying where we’re at – Advent is something in itself – not just ‘how many days is it til’ Christmas now?’.

I think perhaps we miss out when we view one stage as only a necessary ‘hoop to jump through’ to get to the next stage.

I’ve been wondering how I can be more in the Advent spirit – to live in the sense of anticipation, enjoy the deliciousness of feeling hope, enjoy the ‘now’ intrinsically.

Sometimes I’m in a rush to get the next thing, and I wonder if I miss what is in the now. Like children who just can’t wait to be grown-up, single people who just can’t wait to be married, pregnant people who just can’t wait to give birth, students who just can’t wait to graduate…

¬†…it’s good to move on when the time comes and embrace the new stage of life, age, challenge, but all we actually have is now – yes, a time of waiting, preparation, and also, if we allow it to be, and are able to be truly in it,¬†‘the time of now’.

December 10, 2007 Posted by | Advent | | Leave a comment

blinding light

I’ve been struck recently by how light can come through another,

as though they become God’s channel of light for me…

perhaps shining so bright it’s almost blinding.

I worried it could distract me from God to see such light and beauty in another human,

but I think it’s God’s design, that we see – and appreciate – God in each other.

December 9, 2007 Posted by | Light, People | , | 2 Comments