Sarum Pause for Reflection: Bronze Sky

Reflection

DIY weather-forecasting at dawn generated a mixed picture when this photograph was taken.  Copper clouds look handsome, but generally presage squalls; the swatch of clear sky OTOH suggested a fine day.   

(It turned out sunshine ’n’ showers.) 

We never do know, do we, what the future holds?  And, of course, what transpires does not depend on how we’re feeling!  Prediction is an inexact business even at the level of meteorology.  Especially in Britain, where we don’t have a climate: we have weather.  (So why bother?) 

When she was ill – on her death-bed (or so everyone predicted) – Julian experienced alternating emotions.  When the sun shone in her spiritual life, the mood sound-track in modern terms would be the worship song ‘Nothing can separate us from the love of God.’  When pain – physical/mental/spiritual – returned she’d be crying ‘Lord save me: I perish!’ (quoting from memory Matthew 14:30 and 8:25).  

What could possibly separate us from the love of Christ?   
St Paul to the Romans 8:35  

God wants us to get ahold of this: S/he takes just as good care of us in woe as in well.
(Julian of Norwich, ‘A Revelation of Love’ Chapter 15)

Prayer

God, keep me true to You!

Thank you for sunny times when it’s easy to see  
Your hand at work. 
In time of well,  
give me grace to praise you. 

When darkness falls, 
and I cannot see 
Your purpose in events; 
when friendship fails, 
and I feel so alone;  
when pain surrounds 
– in time of woe, 
give me grace to praise You still  
my Saviour and my Lord. 

Amen

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Action

If emotions feel like they’re getting out of control, deep breathing can help restore calm and equilibrium.  Deep breathing is also useful when getting ready to go to sleep – and a good night’s sleep makes everything easier to cope with. 

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.


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