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 . . .
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 . . .