It’s the darkness that is such a changer of the atmosphere.Leaving home in the dark ,coming home in the dark .The central nervous system’s pressure to hibernate. So the promise of lights and fires and warmth is deeply attractive .
Light is a beacon for me now , sitting in a modern door less station shelter, designed to keep the air fresh,but with no lights .Cold.The tall light shining onto the platform edge gives warning of the darkness of the tracks three feet below. I’ve chosen not to drop into the pub,”The Station” perversely so I don’t get too warm ,nor too comfortable. But the damp cold draught is beginning to chill me. Train cancelled.Forty minutes wait.
The silence is broken by a man’s shouts .’You f…..ing idiot,you hate my family ‘.He comes closer with a women who enters the shelter first.She nods when I ask if she is alright, and the shouter rants and swears on .I ask him to please stop shouting and he sits and tells the women how much he loves her and how he will marry her and give her his child .I feel my indignation rise at the imposition of his plan on a women he has sworn and shouted at for more than 5 minutes in my ear shot.
In the darkness ,the light shines and the darkness has not overcome it .
The lady friend of the ranter and I catch the train .She moves away and finds a space to herself . I think of the Syrian crisis and the wars around the world .Conflict and man’s inhumanity to man in so many forms.
Advent .We prepare for Christmas .Lord, have mercy .
http://wp.me/p2Lhjb-e2 remembering my own tour de Yorkshire two years ago.. Need to do it again!
And there was darkness over the face of the deep…
And there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour..
Light is sometimes seen by planners as an incidental and in our world we manage darkness. Not a huge amount of thought or care is given to those who work in artificial light all day.I think you’ll know the low ceiling offices with no natural light or the clinic rooms in the centre of a building where staff have burrowed . Modern architects have begun to see the wellbeing benefits of natural light , but old buildings abound and the worker consumes the electricity whether day or night. Remember the tube drivers, miners,divers,submarine sailors….
I am a natural daylight lover. I like to see the sun. I like daylight. Artificial light is not a preferred option. Overhead sun is a good medicine with sensitive protection. We are creatures drawn to light.
Overhead sun.. Can't quite photograph with no shadow
So today Europe shall be reminded of what losing the sun in daytime is like and we are prodded into thankfulness for our amazing universe.We can remember our striving for shining light on our lives.We can be thankful for the light of the world.Then as sun is resurrected out of shadow we can echo
” Let there be light ”
Eight weeks in Uganda definitely showed the kindness, gentleness and hospitality of strangers. The reliability of the acquaintances and the sacrificial nature of those called family in faith.
Home now and the graciousness of those who stayed here is very apparent. The greetings of family, friends and colleagues are very special and very warming. To be loved is so very special and heightened, at times of return, to levels that are theoretically known but too often cringed away from.What is it with so much of our culture that encourages shrivelled displays of emotions ? A false modesty that hides the free expression of love,joy,hope, faith and even,happiness. A type of pride dressed up as carefully managed humility but leaking drops of falsehood and pretence saying that we are above the need for such deep comfort. Is this the politeness we crave? Why does the loud boast slide away to to be managed? Who is responsible for envy? and who for the vanity of the blogger? Are some legitimate joys and gifts kicked into that muddled puddle of false humility ?
But I need to share the period of grace of a returnee. There is so much blesssing with gestures of kindness, cooking, household stuff and meal sharing. I am blessed by indulgent listeners and kindness of colleagues, gifts and flowers, cards and patience. I want to share these generous times. There are so many acts of confident kindness. It is a sadness that English labels this as ‘spoiling’.
Humankind has been given a gift of community and programmed to love our neighbour as ourselves. We so often see the severely fractured behaviours of humans reported,even applauded or dangled at us for sick amusement.
So I shall tell the story of having treats and having things done for me, for being allowed gently back to the full flow of work. I tell it as a joyful time of re entry, a time of people being kind and generous, a time for those who obey Jesus’ words to love our neighbour as ourselves and I’m happy to be that neighbour whether in Uganda or UK.We can all show fractured behaviour, not one of us without wrongdoing, but it is very very special to open our eyes, mind and heart and to see that love of Jesus mirrored by so many of.his forgiven followers around and about.There is so much more story to tell about that and so much more to this greater period of grace. We have freedom to open our eyes hearts and minds to the forgiveness and love of Jesus. Truly a period of grace to enjoy.
I am home now and shall be blogging a few thoughts in the next day or two .
In the meantime , would you consider a donation to help the centre in Uganda house its students in a more comfortable dormitory . Read the need here . Thank you . Any amount will be gratefully appreciated . https://www.youcaring.com/tuition-fundraiser/new-dormitory-for-school-children-/322669