A new wildflower meadow in my village! Almost, but not quite visible from my study window, so a most pleasant surprise on a recent walk.
This is not a set-aside field: it is (was) prime agricultural land de-commissioned from farming, for the first time, probably, since Saxon colonists first sailed up the Thames, and built the homes they needed.
Demand for the kind of housing the developer had in mind here, dried up altogether more than a year ago. But not before that once fertile ground had been wrecked by the preliminary ‘work’.
From the ruined earth has sprung up such an abundance and diversity and beauty of new life! More than in any of the places where I have been involved in the deliberate creation of wildflower habitats – though I am sure this will be only a temporary habitat: to be enjoyed while we can.
We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thown open the door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand: out in the wide open spaces of God’s glory and grace, standing tall and shouting our praise. Romans 5:2 (The Message)
With a glad expression, our Lord Jesus looked at his side, which had been wounded on the cross. I followed the line of his gaze. There he showed me a beautiful wide-open space, wide enough for all humankind that is to be saved, to live there in peace and love.
(Julian of Norwich, ‘A Revelation of Love’ Chapter 24)
Sacred Heart of Jesus, riven in two: you never cease to draw all to you, and bring us together in peace and harmony – all praise to you!
After Julian and modern RC Divine Office
Don’t Do Anything is perhaps one moral of this tale. Just thank God – it can be done right now! – for the signs given that from chaos and the ruin of hopes He always has, always does, and always will bring forth order and beauty and splendour greater than anything that was there before; and his work lasts.
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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.