Repeated rainbows!

In the lashing rain…….

Sometimes we go though periods when everything seems to be going wrong, when you forget something, you get an unexpected bill, or a friend is ill. And then it can be one of these days when you get soaked to the skin by very cold rain, snd the rain is so heavy it runs down your back, and your feet are drenched and frozen.

I was in the middle of such a day, when I saw this most beautiful rainbow. The colours were so vibrant, and reminded me of everything that is beautiful and full of hope. My dilemma was do I stand longer in the howling wind and rain to take the picture, or do I hurry on? I needed to take the picture, even though I became even more soggy doing so.

In Genesis chapter 9:12 God says to Noah ‘this is the token of the covenant which I am making between me and every living creature, for all future generations.’.

The rainbow is a sign of God’s faithfulness, that there will never be another flood over all the earth. I love how even after the heaviest and darkest storm, a rainbow so often appears, a sign that God is watching over us, and wants to bring us hope.

So I must have been having a bad week, or maybe it’s just that I keep forgetting, but God has given me so many rainbows in recent days, sometimes even two a day! Now I do know I live in Glasgow, and it is one of the wettest cities, but I have loved my rainbows. They just remind us all that God never forgets, and that even after the worst of times, there is hope. Whatever our situation might be, God loves us, and wants to bring a message of grace and the possibility of new beginnings.

Creator God, thankyou that this world is so incredible, varied in form, colour and texture, with creatures of all kinds on land and in sea and air. Yet we so often choose to be selfish, and we hurt each other and we cause such pain to our planet.Forgive us for our apathy and carelessness. Lord Jesus, inspire us through the rainbow, so we can start again, to know it is worth it, and there is hope. Holy spirit, speak to us all though these arches of colour, reminding us all that are still possibilities of vibrancy and inspiration in life even after the most dismal of days, thankyou Father, Amen

The coming of the Holy spirit!

A tangible reminder!

I really appreciate Pentecost, and the reminder of the power of the Holy spirit, to cleanse and refine, to strengthen and to inspire. We need the holy spirit so much in our lives.

Last weekend was so busy, but God kept speaking to me of his spirit, as I kept encountering pigeons. These are not exactly the same as doves I know, but I kept meeting them in different places. It was like God has been reminding me that His Holy spirit is at work in so many different ways, way beyond my imagining.

Recently, as the covid 19 restrictions have lifted a little, I have been able to reconnect with different individuals and communities. It has been so heartening to see first hand the great work different groups have been doing in the community, and to remember that there is still so much good in the world.

I am so grateful for God’s holy spirit at work, comforting people, guiding people, inspiring art, dance, singing, meditations and so many creative ways of expression. The holy spirit stirs up the people of God to express the love of God in so many beautiful ways, even in the midst of heartache and sorrow.

One of my readings today was from psalm 89:1 ‘ I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord ‘and that gift of thanksgiving and praise is so powerful. When we sing of God’s goodness, then we sing this melody out to the whole world and to each generation. This is one of the ways the Holy spirit works, not just at Pentecost, but every day. My prayer is that we all find our own way of singing about the steadfast love of the Lord, so the whole world can also join the song.

Gracious God, Father, Son and Holy spirit, thankyou especially for Your Holy Spirit this day, and for the way your Spirit works to challenge and to cleanse, to comfort and inspire. Forgive us when we have lost our way, and our hearts have been hard. Soften our hearts, that they might be tender hearts of flesh, full of love for You and for others. When we are hurting, bring healing, and in time may we trust again. Lord Jesus, may Your spirit help us to hunger for your word, and to seek Your will, and to use our gifts of creativity for You. May we be open to see your holy spirit at work in our midst, so we might marvel, hope and praise You every day, for Jesus’ sake, so the whole world might hear of Your transformative love, Amen.

Landscape of lament.

A cleit and dwelling places at St Kilda.

I had the privilege of visiting St Kilda this week. It is a group of islands over 40 miles from Uist off the west coast of Scotland, where for thousands of years, people lived in a very harsh enviroment. The group of islands and stacs are stunningly beautiful, with incredible rock formations, a vast and varied colony of birds, including puffins, and the physical remains of a community, who chose to leave in 1930, when the community was no longer viable. When we visited, the cloud was often very low, and it gave it all a very atmospheric and mysterious air.

Walking around the village, you can see the remains of blackhouses (traditional stone cottages from the 1830’s), almost 1,300 cleits ( stone larders), dykes, the church, the factor’s house, graveyard etc. There are sheep everywhere, and you can imagine a little of trying to work the land, looking after the sheep, and capturing birds for harvesting.

Traditionally in Scottish literature, the relationship between humanity and the land is depicted as harsh, think for example of George Mackay Brown, where in ‘The house with the Grem shutters’ rural life is seen as cruel and desolate. Or we might look at Lewis Classic Gibsons ‘ A Scots Quair’, and the changes that war brought to the farming community. People often work hard in all weathers, only for the crops to fail, or financial ruin to strike.

We sometimes have an ideal concept of farming life, but listening to the stories of the people on St Kilda soon dispels this. They were out in the fields in all weathers, and in the evenings spinning and crafting wool, distilling oil for export from birds, making skins into shoes etc, and often living with their animals. Life is depicted as relentless, and yet the people persevered, through illness and little medical support, and terrible storms, when the community were completely cut off. You can’t help but admire their stoicism. And when you visit, you almost here the song of lament in the air, for the loss of so many lives over generations.

Today, we perhaps face different types of adversities and obstacles, sometimes more subtle ones, but they are there- poor health, the loss of work opportunities, the impact of the pandemic, climate change, injustice in our society. We have to try to navigate these, whilst keeping our self respect, and a constructive sense of purpose..

Christians are not exempt from seasons of frustration and hardship. Everyone has to work through difficult stuff. Yet God always encourages people to keep going, and to have hope, even when things are tough.

In Galatians 6:9 it says: ‘let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season, we will reap if we do not give up.’

Creator God, You have made this beautiful world, yet we live in a state of rebellion and disharmony, and it is hard work to care for nature, and to make a living. We give thanks for those who persevere in what seem like impossible circumstances. Sometimes we lament for the pain people experience just trying to put food on the table, and we think of story of the people in St Kilda in the past, and many other places today. Lord Jesus, help us all to work together for a just and fairer world. And when it all seems too much, holy spirit give us courage to persevere, and hope that things can get better, Amen.

Courage to cross thresholds.


We are heading towards the end of 2020, a threshold between the present and the future. In celtic spirituality, thresholds are often equated to thin places’ places where the divine is more readily experienced. It can be a spiritual place of suffering or loss, where the usual material certainties have lost their attractiveness, and we learn to rely on Christ, as our Strength in our weakness and confusion.

2020 has been a year of such darkness and suffering- so many dying from the virus, people with long term effects of covid 19, loved ones unable to see each other, even in end of life situations. So much weeping.

I think of all those I have lost this year, personally and in the church family, and it is so hard to take in. All the people that I don’t get to speak to again, at least in this life. I miss them.

Yet in 2020, I have also had cause to be grateful. I have listened to friends heroically looking after loved ones in impossible situations, people showing great kindness above and beyond the call of duty, prayer warriors, and encouragers and those who have sacrificially served others. It has been humbling.

I am also so deeply grateful to God, for enabling me to publish ‘ Love song for wounded warrior’ this year, a tribute to my late husband- his life as a veteran, and his struggles with his subsequent medical condition. This time last year, it seemed like an impossibility, I was editing and rewriting drafts, and questioning why I would even think about doing this.

But God opened the door, and held it open so I could walk though. I faced delays and setbacks and struggles, but I felt a sense of call to honour my husband’s memory, and God enabled me to do this, and I am still amazed that it actually happened. I am grateful that your donations too, have been a blessing to the Coming Home centre, and Epilepsy Connections. Thankyou.

I still don’t know where God is leading me. I have been so encouraged by people’s insights and prayers, and telling our story has been the right thing to do. It has also been costly. I feel called to continue to explore ways of finding healing for people who have experienced complex trauma, but I need courage and wisdom.

For just now, I am humbled that God has given me courage to write, to try to express what is going on my heart. All I can do, is to continue to share the themes that I struggle with, in the hope that it will help another human being, to be honest about the rubbish in our lives, to seek prayer and healing and support.

At this juncture between the old and new, I am grateful that God helped me find my voice. Thankyou too for reading this blog. I seek to be faithful to Christ, and to continue to seek supportive communities for people to find healing and hope. For we are never by ourselves, and God is always here. What an encouragement.

Let us pray, Lord Jesus, the pain, sorrow and brokenness of 2020 is almost too much to bear. Yet in the midst of the darkness and despair, You shine the light of your presence, a lamp to my feet, and a light for my path. Guide us all by Your Holy spirit, through the door of your choosing, and the new life beyond. Grant us hope for the new journey ahead, to put one foot in front of another, and help us to follow Your healing calling, wherever it may lead, Amen.

” sorrowful but always rejoicing”

an umbrella of healing love

2 Corinthians 6: 10

Friends, I have waited a long time before starting to blog. Often I have wondered what to say, and what my message is.

It is such a cliche that everyone has a story to tell, but it feels so essential to life and identity, that I want to try. I am a Christian who doesn’t have all the answers. I love Jesus, and God the father is my Shelter, and His Holy Spirit is gently nudging me to be more creative, to get in touch with my true self, and to have the courage to articulate a little of what that means.

In my core self, I am a bridge builder, a reconciler, an encourager. I am deeply flawed, I make loads of mistakes, I get things wrong, and I feel down at times because I feel inadequate to fulfil what I feel called to do. I wrestle with how to take things forward.

I am also frustrated with cliches in the Christian world – particularly about suffering and pain – eg ” that God has sent you this to make you stronger”. When you are sad and tearing your hair out, and everything is falling apart, with a restless noisy toddler, or a sick husband, these words don’t seem to help.

In psalm 45 verse 1, the psalmist says:

” My heart is stirred by a noble theme,

As I recite my verses for the King

My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.”

God has blessed me so much, even in dark and difficult days in my life, when things made no sense. He encouraged me, and gave me strength, and still brings me healing every day. In Glasgow, it is often raining, and God is like my umbrella, protecting me, keeping me safe, and enabling me to flower underneath His care. And so my blog is called ” an umbrella of healing love”. My prayer that this blog might give space to others to reflect on where they care, to know God’s abundant and compassionate love for themselves, and to connect with Jesus’ healing love in a deeper way.

Wishing you Christ’s healing love,


An invitation to pray:

Gracious God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

I have so many questions, my heart is restless, I cry to You.

Lord Jesus Christ, reveal to me Your heart of Love,

Shelter and heal me,

Holy Spirit help me find the wholeness I seek, Amen.