Lie low to the wall
Many parents of new university students are currently very tempted to jump in the car and fetch them home. God has a similar desire when we are in need of protection. In this week’s reflection, Reverend David Parry reminds us that sometimes we just need to accept that care.
Dangos dy ffyddlondeb rhyfeddol,
ti, sy’n gwaredu â’th ddeheulaw
y rhai sy’n llochesu ynot rhag eu gwrthwynebwyr.
Cadw fi fel cannwyll dy lygad,
cuddia fi dan gysgod dy adenydd.
Salm 17: 7-8
Show me the wonders of your great love,
you who save by your right hand
those who take refuge in you from their foes.
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings.
Psalm 17: 7-8
Reverend David Parry writes:
News of a second wave of the Covid-19 coronavirus, and the resulting prospect of more restrictions, has cast a real shadow over this Autumn and the Christmas we might experience. You would need to be made of pretty strong stuff not to feel down-hearted by that prospect.
I’m not made of anything particularly strong. However even if I was, the awareness of how a seemingly endless pandemic is affecting so many of you who are reading my words would colour my mood. I know that it has already been so hard for those who are most precious and yet vulnerable in our community: our elders and those with fragile health.
We have, rightly, encouraged one another to be hopeful. We have found genuine strength in the worship and wisdom shared by my voices over these past six months online, by phone and card, and in our re-opened buildings. All this mutual love and ministry will continue, whatever lies ahead. It is one of our greatest gifts to those around us as a ‘parish church’ in the truest sense.
And yet… I feel the need to say that it is also ‘OK not to be OK’. God never intended faith to be some kind of inhuman force-field, impervious to suffering or sorrow. We are not superheroes incapable of hurt, despite all our trust. Jesus wept – and his weeping was a sign of love not failure.
After all, if we are not allowed to feel broken and afraid why would Jesus invite us to come to him for Salvation, to be led by him to green pastures and still waters? Sometimes we just need him to enfold us and give us shelter through the harsh Winter, trying to believe that one day Spring warmth will return.
If you are in need of shelter too, I offer this wonderful poem Time to be Slow by John O’Donoghue. It is from his collection ‘To Bless the Space Between Us’ (Random House 2008).
This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.
Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.
If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.
Ein Dduw cariadlon,
tyrd yn agos at bawb trwy Grist.
Dyro dangnefedd dy bresenoldeb,
iachâd d;y gyffyrddiad,
bendith dy arweiniad
a sicrwydd o’th gariad cyson;
fel y bo i bawb sy’n flinderog
gael cerdded mewn gobaith
ac edrych ymlaen mewn ffydd.
draw near to all through Christ.
Grant the peace of your presence,
the healing of your touch,
the blessing of your guidance,
and the assurance of your constant love,
so that all who are weary may walk in hope
and look forward in faith.
Nick Fawcett, trans. Aled Davies
© Kevin Mayhew / Cyhoeddiadau’r Gair
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