Friday, 26 February 2010

Are you there Lord?

I am glad to say that the hill has levelled out a bit.  I wish I knew what was around the corner, or may be it is just as well I don't.  The path leads over hills and down through the valley.  It has high points and low points and many twists and turns.  Are you there Lord?

He waits patiently in the silence offering peace to those who take time to notice.... 

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Up Hill

Today started out good but has become an uphill struggle and the weight of the world (or is the cross?) is on my shoulders.  Ok, so maybe it is not really that bad.  But it is enough to stop me in my tracks and take me off course.  I guess we all come off course once in a while.  We take a wrong turn and end up with muddy boots from not staying on the path.  Maybe it is time to sit on a bench and take stock.  Yes, the road ahead maybe uphill but I do not tread the path on my own...   

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Why do I avoid silence?


A rather haunting image of 'Silence'
by John Henry Fuseli (1741-1825) 

Dear God,

Speak gently in my silence.
When the loud outer noises of my surroundings
and the loud inner noises of my fears
keep pulling me away from you.
Give me ears to listen to your small, soft, voice saying:

'Come to me, you who are overburdended 
and I will give you rest...
for I am gentle and humble of heart.'

Let that loving voice by my guide.


Why do I avoid silence?

From With Open Hands Henri J.M. Nouwen.

Monday, 22 February 2010

The Journey Continues


Christ Bearing the Cross at Calvary
Andrea Da Firenze (1365-68)

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Lent 2015 things that make me laugh (or not)


A modern painting 'Christ in Gethsemane' 
by Michael D O'Brian.

I am struck by the pain and agony that seems to be on Jesus' face as he thinks about what is to come. 

I should have posted this last year, maybe I did. Technology does funny things sometimes. It's not always easy to laugh sometimes pain and tears get in the pain. Laughter and tears perhaps belong together as part of the creative tension of life. Being human, and indeed being God, is not always easy.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Psalm 139

O Lord you search me and you know me,
you know my resting and my rising,
you discern my purpose from afar.
You mark when I walk or lie down,
all my ways lie open to you (v1-3)

O search me, God, and know my heart.
O test me and know my thoughts.
See that I follow not the wrong path
and lead me in the path of life eternal (v23-24)

Grail Translation, Paulist press)


The Sheltered Path
By Claude Monet 1873 

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Light of the World


This is my favourate Holman Hunt painting, 'Light of the World'.  We have a copy of it on the wall at John street Baptist Church, Stroud.  I also have my own copy of this wonderful painting and often find myself reflecting on it.  I love the way the moon casts a halo around Jesus' head.  

Jesus knocks at the door but the door handle is on our side of the door.  Unless you choose to open the door of your heart to Jesus he cannot and will not enter.  This is the free choice that God gives us - we can either accept Him or reject him.  Your choice....

Today is the start of Lent.  In past years I have joined with my Anglican Friends at college for their traditional Ash Wednesday service.  I have missed that this year.  Baptists are not terribly good at marking this point in the Christian callender; perhaps we should!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

The shadow of death

I have been reflecting on this painting, 'The Shadow of Death' by Holman Hunt today.  As Jesus stretches his arms the evening light casts a shadow against the back wall and the tools hung on the back wall form a cross bar.  Although we do not see the woman's face we know that it is Mary who is opening a chest full of the gifts brought by the Magi at Jesus' birth.  But she is not looking in the box her eyes are stuck by the shadow that seems to be predicting what is to come.  

The painting  holds much more but I will leave you to ponder the significance of it in your own time... it's much more fun that way!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Holding hands with God

As the rain hides the stars,
as the autumn mist hides the hills,
as the clouds veil the blue of the sky,
so the dark happenings of my lot
hide the shining of thy face from me.
Yet, if I may hold thy hand in the darkness,
it is enough. Since I know that,
though I may stumble in my going,
thou dost not fall.
(Celtic, unknown)

This prayer was posted by Living Wittily recently  

I like the idea of holding hands with God as I stumble in the dark.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Why do bad things happen?

It has been some time since my last blog.  There are two reasons for this.  Firstly, I have developed a repetative strain in my hand/wrist that is painful when I type.  Secondly, I have struggled to find any hilarity in my life worthy of mention.

I guess there may be a problem with the name of my blog 'Spirituality and hilarity.'  Sometimes life is just not funny.  In a previous blog I refered to the tragic death of Daz, one of my husband's close friends.  Why do bad things happen?  The technical term for this is 'theodicy' and whilst I could get very academic in defining what it means it is not my intention to do so.  there are plenty of academic blogs available if that is what you are looking for.  My intention is more to provoke thought and to explore spirituality.  'So God, why do bad things happen?'  I intend on asking this question of him upstairs when I eventually get to heaven.  I am not looking to getting there any time soon so this question will have to wait a while.  I the meantime it is a question that remains in my thoughts.  I am sure many, if not everyone has struggled with this question at some point in their life.  Sometimes life just plain stinks and there is no rhyme or reason for why things happen.  People get ill... they die young... good people, people who have not done anything wrong to anyone else.

I conclude that my search to explore spirituality in a humorous way has one major flaw - life just isn't humorous all the time!