Fruits of the Spirit: Peace 🕊️
Heather Thompson writes:
Recently Ian and I were upstairs and heard a noise downstairs. Intruders? Surely not in Wales! Upon investigation we found a sparrow had flown into our front porch through the small open window. It was frantically flying into each of the plate glass windows trying to get out. It could see the peace and freedom of the garden but an invisible barrier seemed to prevent it reaching that goal. Again and again it flew against each window of the porch trying to get out, but failing to notice the small window at the top through which it had entered.
Ian didn’t want to terrify the small bird even more by opening our front door and invading the bird’s space to release it. Instead he took the slightly longer, but kinder route, for a small bird with a fast beating heart. He went around the outside of the house and unlocked the porch door, pushing it wide open to make an easier way of escape for the sparrow. After a couple more fruitless circuits beating against the plate glass, perhaps the fresh air registered in the bird’s addled brain. The sparrow stopped, rested on the toy box for a while, and looked around his ‘prison’. At last he saw the open door and flew out into the freedom of the world outside.
Sometimes many of us feel trapped in a prison of lockdown. We see the world from our windows, but the Authorities want us to stay inside. Stop, rest. We have a heavenly Father who loves us and will help us. When Jesus ascended to heaven to be with His Father in person once more, He left the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, to be with us and help us for ever. Look out of the window again. Often we can see the wind blowing the leaves of the trees. The Holy Spirit is like that, unseen yet active, all around the world.
Just like a bird, enjoying the freedom of flying in the sky, the Holy Spirit, allows life in all its fullness. Just like the air of the sky itself, the Holy Spirit is with us here, even inside our ‘prisons’.
Stop and pray. We can breathe in the air of the Holy Spirit, available to us all. Breathe in God’s love. May it give us joy and peace. As we breathe God’s presence into our lives daily, we will find the other fruits of the Holy Spirit growing, as surely as tomatoes will grow on the tomato plants in our back porch! We will begin to find the fruits listed in Galatians at work in our lives, by the power of the Spirit, sometimes those we find the most difficult, like patience, gentleness and self-control.
It is when the sparrow stopped, that the way to freedom became evident. May we learn the stillness of God’s presence. May our confinement not feel like a prison, but be the place where the fruits of His Spirit are there, quietly growing inside us. And as restrictions to our lives begin to ease, we can look forward to the door once more being open to us, so that just like all the birds of our gardens, we can sing our song outdoors and with others once again!
Boed i chi ymwybod â heddwch Duw ynoch
yn ddwfn a chyson,
trwy Iesu Grist ein Harglwydd.
May you know a deep sense
of divine peace within you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
David Cole cyf. Owain Llyr Evans
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