A vision of harmony!

Patterns of light.

I have been so blessed to have had some time out with family in a sunny place. I realise how very much I have missed opportunities just to rest and be, in a warm climate.

I have especially enjoyed the light here, the amazing variety of colours in the sunsets, and last night the moon reflecting its silver glow across the expanse of the ocean. The bright luminous path in the sea in the starry night was wondrous.

(not my picture, but this was the idea!)

The ripples of light in the water, as I have been swimming, have also been mesmerising. I have felt harmonious with the water and the air, as new patterns and ripples appear in a pool, or you become one with the rhythms of the waves in the sea.

The wonder of these experiences have been so good for my soul. For a short while I have put to one side images of conflict, poverty and distress, and I feel at peace with nature, and the Creator of all things. It has reminded me of my desire to be in harmony with God, to be at one with Christ, to just rest in God’s love.

I used to think that this was selfish, but now I understand that these moments of connection refresh my soul, for the days ahead. Finding time to refuel in the pandemic was strangely difficult, because although there was more time, at times I had to fight a sense of claustrophobia and sadness. I think for many people, the pandemic left us all more isolated, and not able to process our grief in community. So being able to travel has reminded me of that sense of freedom and space and connection.

Ultimately, one of the most beautiful Bible passages about harmony is in Revelation 22:1-3

‘The angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb, down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing 12 crops of fruit. And the leaves of the trees are for the healing of the nations.’

I love John’s vision of the future, where people are with God, full of praise and worship. It seems no surprise that there is water, clear as crystal, at the centre of the city, bringing healing and beauty and life to all, for the leaves of the trees are to bringing healing to the nations. That spiritual refreshment offers possibilities of transformation for all. Vision such as this brings us strength and hope for the journey ahead.

Gracious God, our Creator, You have created a world of intricate patterns of light and shade, and of jaw dropping moments of revelation and connection. We worship You, grateful for possibilities of harmony, when the lion and the lamb lie down together. Lord Jesus, in You all things are held together, as the forgiveness You offer through the cross, brings an invitation to reconciliation for all. There are times in this life when pride, grief and violence seem overwhelming. But when we look to You, you remind us of the truth of who You are, and we are reassured and find peace. Through your holy spirit, inspire us to work towards healing and harmony even amongst the brokenness, and grant us a clarity of vision to energise us each day, Amen.

The rhythm of the sea.

When people feel out of kilter or worried or sad, a healing place to go, is often the sea. It has so many moods, colours and tides, strengths and sounds- but somehow it can sooth the soul.

For thousands of years, the sea has had a great attraction to many. Yet the power and the dangers of the sea are many.

Vincent Van Gogh said: ” the fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found the dangers sufficient to remain on the shore.”

The power of the sea is immense, and a storm can cleanse the air and bring deep peace. The sound of lapping water, the ebb and flow of the waves, can soothe the soul- it is almost as if it resets our hearts. Helen Keller said ” I could never stay long enough on the shore. The tang of the untainted, fresh sea air, was like a cool quiet thought.” The poet George Herbert said ” He that will learn to pray, let him go to the sea.”

When we are overtired, or need refreshment for our souls, God can speak through the sea, to remind us of our smallness in His presence, to remind us of a healthier rhythm of life, or just to quieten a troubled spirit . If we have a chance this summer, may we find ourselves at the shore ( even if only in memory) and find the healing touch of God.

Let us pray, Creator God, the source of all life and beauty, bring us to places of mesmerising beauty, that brings perspective to our sadness. Lord Jesus, speak your Word of peace to troubled souls out in the storms, and may Your holy spirit bring a refreshment and vitality to our lives, Amen.