Tuesday, 14 August 2007

... and shadow

Thinking back to the stream by which I was standing when these thoughts first began, and to the shadows on the water, even when those shadows do reveal what is otherwise hidden, we fail to receive the complete picture. We still see only in our limited human way, viewing from one angle, and in a logical attempt to fill in all the details we use our accumulated knowledge of the world, and our imagination.
Having thus patched up and retouched the image, we have no further need of consideration. We think we know. What we believe to be the truth is calculated or estimated, and that which is the truth therefore remains hidden.
The true form of what we see can only be understood when we have viewed it from different angles. The beauty which may be apparent from the side may be unsuspected when viewed from above. The two Salmon beneath the bridge are examples of this: the grey torpedo shapes giving no hint of their magnificent silvery flanks.
If the possibility that these images and ideas may be carriers of meaningful information, has any bearing on reality, then the same must apply to the messages themselves and to their significance. Understanding the fullness of any such communication must be beyond us until we learn to completely re-tune ourselves to a spiritual awareness, and to search for the many hidden angles of view before rushing ahead with the apparently obvious.

We should strive endlessly for intellectual and emotional patience, as the gift most needed in our world today is the same as it always has been: - discernment.
All the other gifts are maintained and used correctly through the gift of discernment. Without it we are led into blind alleys and subtle forms of idolatry which scatter us instead of bringing us together. When we have learned that our being apart is not just the result of our not having approached each other, but is the continued aim of forces we all too often fail to recognise - forces which endlessly work to ensure that God's Kingdom will not come - we begin to understand why discernment should be acknowledged as the essential foundation upon which all other gifts must be built.

The two fish being together seemed synonymous with Marilyn and Tracy, who worked so beautifully together: the one blind, the other deaf. Alone, neither could have done what they were doing, but together they amounted to so much more than the sum of their individual talents. Their combined resources enabled them to communicate with, and respond to, all that went on around them. The apparent disability of the one was entirely negated by the abilities of the other. They had discovered that together there was nothing to hold them back. They were doing God's work with joy.
The two Salmon were waiting: waiting for rain.
And when the river clouded and began to rise - when the time was right - they would know what to do. They would rise from the depths of that pool in readiness for moving into the mainstream of life once more, to continue ever upwards on their journey to the waters of their birth, driven by creation itself until the plan for their lives was completed.

Haunted for a while by the knowledge that in their entire lives, those two fish may never have been seen by anyone, except in that pool, at that moment, by me, I realised that had I crossed the bridge at any other time they would not have been there. They would never have been seen at all.
Or, was it possible that all three of us were meant to be there at that moment, to be illuminated, and to meet in that shaft of light?
The image slipped away, and I returned to the now rather boring looking stream by which I was still standing.
The clouds were darkening; - it looked like rain.

'Listening to God' had been the theme of the day, and in following the stream, perhaps I had opened the way for God to be heard in an unsuspected way. The time had been right, and the message was clear enough to me.
"Better two than one alone, since thus their work is really rewarding. If one should fall, the other helps him up; but what of the person with no one to help him up when he falls?" (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

When I took that walk along the stream, I needed that message, and writing about it later was an aid to my own understanding as much as anything else.
My dwelling on it again now has resulted from aspects of the rainfall and flooding three weeks ago.
The streams clouded and rose, the floods did their damage and receded.
Amid the destruction and loss, what has been washed away? What has been cleansed? What has been uncovered and brought into the light? Among the sorrows and grief, the bitterness, the anger, the depressions, the fears and the futility, what new lights have begun to shine? Where are the newfound whispers of joy?
Before the shadows of that day are fully cast aside, let us dwell within that clarity; let us see through the surface image to whatever lies beneath.
Among the countless good deeds done among neighbours and strangers, will have been many meaningful thoughts, touches and words which have carried the presence of God’s Holy Spirit into people’s lives. Someone you have met during this or other times of crisis may be God’s provision for you, just as you may have become His provision for another.
May each of us recognize our place, our calling and our direction, and may we know those beside whom we are called to stand.

“Where one alone would be overcome, two will put up resistance; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12)


About Me

Who I am should be, and should remain, of little consequence to you. Who you are is what matters; who you are meant to be is what should matter most to you. In coming closer to my own true self, I have gradually been filled with the near inexpressible: I have simply become "brim full", and my words to you are drawn from those uttered within myself, as part of an undeniable overflowing that brings a smile to my every dusk, and to my every new dawn.
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