Friday, 10 February 2012

Believing in summer

One of the reasons I find it very easy to believe in God is because I find it very hard at this time of year to believe in the summer.

Amid this unrelenting austerity of winter I feel as if it would always be so – that this is not so much what winter is as what life is.   I lose the living memory of summer from my heart; I just have to know as a fact it was there, and one day will be again.

I’m like it with weather as well as seasons.  For long stretches of my life I’ve had to travel between north and south quite a bit – between Yorkshire and Sussex, Essex and Sussex, Buckinghamshire and Sussex, North Kent and Sussex.

Hastings, on the south coast, is exceptionally dry and sunny.   The Bromley area of north Kent, and the Aylesbury/Oxford area have a lot of rainfall.  Time and again I’ve been caught out by leaving Hastings wearing Hastings clothes, getting halfway to Bromley or Aylesbury, looked at the sky from the train window and thought “Dang!  Why didn’t I remember?”

But I just forget.  I walk out of the door wearing whatever seems reasonable where I am, forgetting to factor in weather patterns where I’m going – and because the UK, though small,  is tall, thin and northerly, that’s important.

It seems easy to me to see the counterpart on the metaphysical plane.  For a long time, into my adult years, I managed to hang on to my memory of the world of light where we came from, knowing that there and not here is our home.  As I came into adulthood I hung onto it fiercely, desperately trying to keep open the way back, to remember . . . remember . . .  But I’ve been here long enough now that I don’t remember.  Long enough that I only know.  I believe in it as I believe in the summer.  One day . . .

And so it is with God.  I cannot show you Him (though you can meet Him for yourself).  I can show you traces of where he has been, just as the traces of the summer when it is gone remain – or of rainfall, or of glaciers.  Anyone who knows God can trace His presence and identify His footsteps.   And I cannot produce for you Jesus – though again, I promise you, you can meet Him for yourself, you have only to ask.

I believe in God as surely as I believe in summer; the knowing in my heart that trusts and hopes and watches and remembers.  One day . . .



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365 366 Day 41 (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, see here)



Oh.  More feather earrings.  I think there’s another pair coming up in a few days too.  I hope I’m paying attention to this and learning a lesson from this mindless consumerism . . .

  

9 comments:

Elin said...

Wow, I can relate to not believing in summer at this time of year. I still have about two months of winter ahead of me and maybe more if I am unlucky. We have a had a cold spell here in northern Sweden, in my town temperatures have been between -15 to -20C and it has been even colder in other places, in my old hometown -35 and colder. Summer? Well, I have a distant memory that once upon a time I could go outside without 14 layers of clothing and I seem to remember seeing a yellowish ball in the sky but I am not sure if it is a dream or actual reality...

On an unrelated note, do you have any tips of places in the UK to visit if going on a holiday (with a baby)? I have seen London a couple of times and several different towns and areas of Yorkshire but not that much outside that. I have been on a short trip to Glasgow a cold November weekend and that is about it. I have been thinking of seeing the south of England for example, is there must-see place/s there you can recommend?

maria said...

Believing in something that is not tangible requires faith. And so it is for us my friend. I don't pray 'come quickly Lord' not because I don't want to see Him or be with Him - no far from it! But because I feel that He is here guiding me, showing me, loving me. And in this life, my faith is being tested and my life is my testimony.

So yes, like you, I believe in summer like I believe wholeheartedly in God, because He exits and His presence is everywhere - you just have to believe and see Him.

Your earrings are a bit like a pair I bought on a whim last year, before this no spending year began. Now, I can not bear to wear them again. I have spend so much on useless things...but thankfully He forgives me and guides me to the right path!

Blessings to you my friend,

m.

Ember said...

Hi Maria! Waving! x

Hi Elin! If you have never seen the West Country, I thoroughly recommend it. Mousehole and Penzance in Cormwall, which I had heard of many times but visited for the first time only last year, are just delightful. And Totnes in Devon is a fascinating place, where green craftspeople have converged making it quite a centre. And Stonehenge is worth seeing while you're there. West Country folk tend to be relaxed and human in their approach to life; I think the West Country would be a good place to go with a baby.

Deborah said...

I can really relate to what you say Pen, about mindless consumerism. After reading In Celebration of Simplicity I got rid of about 50% of my belongings and i don't really miss them! Why on earth did I buy them in the first place?! When I have a clear out I give the things to friends whose church has a charity shop and they keep saying to me, 'You'll have nothing left' ...the sad fact is I have LOADS left! Even not taking into condideration my workroom there is still a lot of 'stuff' in my house. I do still intend to whittle it down though!

Ember said...

Discovering just how much STUFF we have is quite sobering really.
We here like watching Ultimate Makeover Home Edition on the Really TV channel, and the episode that sticks in my mind is one of a family with a dad and 5 lads, really poor. They were very neat and clean; they had a sofa (providing the bed for one of the boys at night) and armchairs in their living room. They had a fitted kitchen (broken sink). Almost nothing else. Each boy had a change of clothes. The bedrooms were bare except for a neatly folded blanket for each boy to sleep on, laid out tidily on the floorboards. They did have a large fridge. In it was some reconstituted mashed potato; that would be their supper that night.
Concentrates the mind, doesn't it.

Deborah said...

When I had a TV I used to love watching the Extreme Makeover in the Home programmes and DIY SOS...I'm a sucker for house makeover things :-)


I know for myself buying things was a way to try to fill that hole that was inside me that really should have been filled by God...and would have been if I'd asked him! lol I used to love reading The Little House on the Prairie series of books and it always struck me how excited and happy they were to get a cup each for Christmas, as they had been sharing up til that point.

We really don't need stuff and I'm trying to get out of the habit although one can never have enough fabric or beads or ribbon or paper or...or...it's for work...honest!! ;-)

Ember said...

:0D

Penny said...

Thank you for this post Pen. Soul food.

Ember said...

:0)