‘Keep looking at the blue cross!’ urged the technician checking my eyesight with a new bit of tech.
A lull in Cov19 restrictions had made for a chance to catch up on a routine eye test – and journey into a different, urban habitat. Where I come from, pavements are not marked out with stencilled graphics.
The sequence of visions and insights given to Julian began as she looked, reluctantly, at a crucifix brought to her on what everyone thought was her death-bed. An inner voice said it would be fine if she looked away and switched her devotions from the Crucified Christ to the Father.
The suggestion sounded well-meant. Julian decided it fell into category of temptation. Her response was, ‘No, I can’t: You are my heaven.’
“See: in time of trouble and distress,
now is the time I am blessed.”
So I was taught to choose Jesus for my heaven, at a time when the only sight of him that I had was of him going through hell.
(Julian of Norwich, ‘A Revelation of Love’ Chapter 19)
God, teach me to live
in Your here-and-now;
to be grateful
for the good there is
here and now;
to share the goodness
here and now.
Be picky about tactics when thinking about the future? Sometimes it may be helpful to remind ourselves that difficulties, eg emergency measures, come and go: they do not last for ever. OTOH, we also need to remind ourselves not to place undue expectation on the big day when present difficulties disperse.
(At all times, being sure not to twist ‘choosing the way of the cross’ into, for instance, feeling obliged to stay in an abusive relationship.)
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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.