A glassy sea of white, a smoky haze, and creatures full of eyes …
No, not a scene from the biblical book of Revelation, just cows in the mist: resting in a field set with masses of oxeye daisies, at the dawn of another quintessential English summer’s day.
Oxeye daisies are not just bigger editions of the common daisy. The latter closes at night, furling those delicate white ray-florets; it opens again, weather permitting, during daylight hours. Hence the name of the plant, from Old English dæges éage: “day’s eye”. The oxeye daisy is a weed in the view of many a farmer, but delights countryside walkers by staying open all day, all night – rain or shine.
How to keep the channels of communication open between us and God? How, spiritually, to be more oxeye than common daisy? Thankfully, this is yet another area where God takes the initiative…
Do not judge by appearances: judge rightly! John 7:24
God, being rightful, judges us according to the essence of our human nature, which is always secure-keeping: safe and sound within Him. People, on the other hand, judge [each other and ourselves] on the basis of highly changeable feelings, which can blow one way or the other, and major on outward show. We are tolerant and gentle when we we’re in touch with the part of us which is heaven-orientated; harsh and cruel when we draw on our resources alone. (Julian of Norwich, ‘A Revelation of Love’ Chapter 45)
Thank you, Father, that even when the mind sleeps Your Spirit holds us and speaks direct with ours. When we are busy, or plain forgetful, remember us kindly, Lord; and when you prompt us, may we be swift to respond!
A change of body position can help relax the mind as well. Uncrossing the limbs, opening out our hands, turning the palms up/outwards – these can be useful hacks during prayer time too.
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A reflection from Jennifer Brooker ObJN, who has been a frequent visitor of Sarum College. She has a degree in Modern Languages from the University of Oxford and master’s degree in theology awarded by Durham University.