Healing on a grey day.

Rain again….

What I have noticed is that when there are blue skies, golden autumnal colours and bright sunshine, I love a drive. Give me rain, deich skies and blanket shades of grey, my spirit fades a little. While the rhythm of the windscreen wipers may be comforting, the puddles and surface spray are not.

Yet on a grey day, when I spend more time inside, I have to face some of the stuff I might otherwise ignore. On a sunny day, I can distract myself with the gorgeousness of nature in both colour and form. On a grey day, I hear the rain battering the window, and am challenged to find the good.

This week I have been reading Karen McClintock’s ‘ When trauma wounds pathways to healing and hope.’ It is a great introduction to different forms of trauma, and different strategies to find healing. It is written from a theological and counselling perspective, and advocates a trauma informed approach to individuals, to life, and to church. It works by giving a number of case studies, and relates what helps people find their peace. Sanctuaries where people can tell their story in safety, is part of that healing process.

It was the battering of the rain, that led me to read, to have space and time to consider this topic. It is a difficult area to explore, and I am still only learning, but it seems so important to integrate pastoral and trauma informed insights, to enable people to find lasting healing. I need to explore it further, for my heart’s desire is to see people have opportunites to heal after trauma and emotional woundedness. Bessel van der Kolk speaks of all these techniques being summarised in the word ‘love’ but it is how to love people well and wisely, so that they can heal that is the challenge.

On grey days, may we take time to do some reflection, and ask God to bring deeper healing to our lives. May His holy spirit guide us, so we can experience healing, and in turn can bring grace to others.

‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts and encourages us, so that we will be able to encourage and encourage those who are in any kind of trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.’ 2 Corinthians 1: 3-5

Creator God, on a grey day, we can be restless and unsettled, our mood a little flat. Yet even these days can be used by You, so we look deeper into our souls, and notice the murkier and darker areas. Lord Jesus, at times in your life, you too were confronted with the truth of the human condition, and the cruelty and darkness of the world. Forgive us for all the hurt and trauma we cause others, and bring healing pathways for the broken and the wounded. By your holy spirit, give us courage to keep travelling, even when the journey seems grey and relentless. May we trust that the sun can shine again, and bring love, joy and peace, Amen.

Windows to the soul!

There is an old saying that your eyes are the windows to the soul. It is amazing when you meet someone what their eyes tell you- they can speak of heartache or worry or joy or wonder, just by being.

My beautiful friend has dementia- some one I have known for such a long time. She has forgotten most things, and needs extra care to keep her safe. It is so gut wrenching to see her like this, and I have to screw up my courage to visit.

But when I get there, all I can see is her eyes, all I can feel is her spirit. Her Christian faith shines from her, and the holy spirit dwells within her. We can sing hymns together, and she tells me verses from the bible, even though she doesn’t know where she is. And her eyes sparkle and speak of such a deep love, that I weep every time. In her presence, I feel the presence of Christ, the product of a life time of prayer and obedience. It is so humbling, and so beautiful.

In Matthew 6:22 it says ‘ the eye is like a lamp, that provides light for the body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is healthy’ and this seems so true. My dear friend gives testimony to this every day. The light of Christ is in her body, mind and soul, and His love radiates from her. A poignant blessing.

Gracious God, thankyou for the way your light shines, and the darkness cannot put it out. Thankyou that even when people are unwell with illnesses or dementia, that Your love for them can still be seen in the tender aspect of their eyes. It is so deeply moving. Lord Jesus, in a society where so many have memory problems, teach us to be respectful, and to support and care for vulnerable people in the community or in care homes. Help us keep them safe. And may your holy spirit always be at work in their lives, so they know they are loved and treasured. Bless all those who care for a vulnerable loved one this day, grant them patience and wisdom, in Jesus name, 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.

Space to be- even at the airport!

Making space in the crowd!

I recently have had the privilege to travel. It has been so good to visit wonderful friends, and I am so blessed.

However the journeying process was challenging, especially some of the baggage checks. The queue was busy, and you had to put your stuff in plastic trays to go through the scanner. But to get the plastic tray on the conveyor belt, you had to make a space, and basically that meant pushing some one else’s stuff out the way. For a while, I chose not to do this, but as time went by, all that happened was that everyone else pushed passed. I would have been there for the whole day, if I didn’t choose, very reluctantly, to push away a tray on the conveyor belt to make space for my tray.

This sounds like such a trivial thing, but it became enormously symbolic. In order to live well, we all need to have space to be. It didn’t harm anyone to put my tray up, but what it did, was release me to get on with my journey.

In the Christian life, we desire to love and serve others, and this is such a privilege. We take up our cross, as Jesus says in Luke 9:23. It is a great choice to make, but sometimes the danger can be that we burn out. We are so busy making space for others, we do not have space to be, to pray, to receive from God, to play, to enjoy. We need good boundaries, in order to be well enough to love and serve others.

Our holiday with our amazing friends is such a blessing, and it is a wonderful time to reflect, and to rediscover the importance of space and beauty, prayer and connection. God reminds me that he calls His children to enjoy Him and His stunning creation, and to know the comfort, healing and guidance of His spirit.


May we all find space to be, to take time to heal, to rest, to find perspective, to start again.

Risen Lord, we desire to take up our cross and follow you. Sometimes the load is heavy, and we are worn down. Holy spirit, whisper your words to us, that Word from God in season, that we need to hear. Creator God, help us find space in our lives to come and rest with You, to receive Your love. May the things of this world not crowd You out, or diminish Your voice. Teach us to prioritise, to have space to listen, to heal and to find restoration and peace. In your Son’s precious name, Amen.