“Our hearts and minds desire clarity. We like to have a clear picture of a situation, a clear view of how things fit together, and clear insight into our own and the world’s problems. But just as in nature colours and shapes mingle without clear-cut distinctions, human life doesn’t offer the clarity we are looking for. The borders between love and hate, evil and good, beauty and ugliness, heroism and cowardice, care and neglect, guilt and blamelessness are mostly vague, ambiguous, and hard to discern. It is not easy to live faithfully in a world full of ambiguities. We have to learn to make wise choices without needing to be entirely sure.”
In my Heart
I am the light in the darkness.
The candle in your heart,
that will not dim.
Though the light in your life might depart,
my flame within keeps burning.
I am the length of the cross,
and also its full width.
My reach is in every direction,
and it encompasses all of the earth.
I am the bright morning star,
shining from North to South.
Though the sun leaves the world in the dark,
the light in your heart won’t be put out.
Ana Lisa de Jong
Every morning lean your arms awhile upon the windowstill of heaven and gaze upon the Lord.
Then with the vision in your heart, turn strong to meet your day
“A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.”
My prayer today is for comfort. Comfort is not given from Him to make us comfortable. Comfort is to assure us of our security in Him. Not of our security in the world. I was thinking tonight of TV programme’s such as the old ‘Packed to the Rafters’, how they always contain a few dramas among family, friends and the community, but that they are often tied up at the end of each episode with a heart-warming thought that renews our belief in human nature and leaves us feeling touched and satisfied by positive outcomes and restored relationships. Life, though in reality, touching and moving and beautiful as it is, does not always leave us satisfied, certainly not with answers, or neatly tied up ends. Sometimes as Henri Nouwen says there’s a blurring of borders, no clear-cut distinctions between responsibility and culpability, pride and disappointment, joy and mourning, gaining and losing. And at times the waves and billows keep coming without much time to take a breath, let alone form an answer. The wonderful thing is as my poem above attests to, Gods light shines through all these ambiguities. It’s the only constant, and the only given. And all we really need to know to be comforted.
These are drawn from daily prayers and reflections I write for my Chaplaincy colleagues.