Thursday, March 19, 2009

Winter’s End

Nahum1:7 (New International Version)
7 The LORD is good,
a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him,

I left the land of Canada emerging slowly and tentatively from the deep, cold winter. Her brown warrior earth carried shields of frozen silver when I saw her last.

I came to England and found the gentle spring had arrived too: blossom, buds and blackbird song; daffodils nodding and daisies gazing up from fine green beds.

A gauzy haze hung over the land today; and quietness, as if the world had paused in its roar of busyness.

A thousand memories still live on the village streets I know so well. The church clock chimes in the Norman bell tower that overlooks the village, as it chimed through the years of my childhood in quarter hours. Time moves more slowly here it seems.

Besides the privilege of being with and serving Mum during a period of illness; the reason for my sudden visit; there has been a time for reflection and quietness. Today she was brighter and had a better appetite and we hope that she will come home very soon, and I am pressing deeper into God.

How true these words of St. John of the Cross are: “Christ is known very little by those who consider themselves his friends." I am getting to know him better.

I brought with me, Thomas a Kempis’s book, Of the Imitation of Christ; a book that has lain on my bookshelf unread for many years. Now that I am reading it I think that I will read it for the rest of my life as part of my Sacred Hour; it is so wonderful. I had no idea who Thomas a Kempis was when I started reading, but I was surprised to discover that he lived the life of a monk and priest over six hundred years ago. The book is a deep, rich well of wisdom and good counsel.

A thought from Thomas for today:
It is good for us that we sometimes have some weariness’s and crosses, for they often call a man back to his own heart; that he may know that he is here in banishment, and may not set his trust in any worldly thing.


Marilyn said...

Thank you for that quote AND the reading recommendation!

Your description of Alvechurch makes me want to retreat there. Lovely. I heard the bells.

Belinda - your writing is RICH with description. The word 'rich' comes to mind often when I read you. I suspect you select images (perhaps this isn't even consciously happening for you - you are simply writing) that reach into the reader's mind and draw forth connecting images.

Belinda said...

Ah, Marilyn, funny that you should mention the word "retreat" in relation to Alvechurch. It is a perfect place for retreating from the world. By 1.30 on Saturday afternoon, the post office and some other shops, are closed, and many of them close every lunchtime for an hour. Of course they are closed on Sunday too, but not out of Christian principle--it's just that there is plenty of other time to shop. :)

Thank you for the great compliment on the writing Marilyn. I treasure it. I loved painting as a child, and now I try to do it with words. I love finding a metaphor that brings a thought to life vividly. It gives me joy to do it.