Give me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My script of joy, immortal diet,
y bottle of salvation.
My gown of glory, hopes true gauge,
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.

~Sir Walter Raleigh

A hiker, walking for pleasure, likes to choose between several alluring trails.
The pilgrim desires only the road that leads home.

~Frank W. Boreham

Friday, September 16, 2011

Classic Juliana For An Autumnal Sort of Day

Juliana (or Julian if you prefer, which I do not:) Was born c.1373. It is said that she lived to be 100 years. Her writings, sometimes difficult for our twenty-first century sensibilities, are nonetheless rich with spiritual wisdom for any age and time. Today's offering is one of those sweetly filled with charmingly antiquated words and phrases, yet chuck full of Eternal Truth. Just right for seasonal gathering and storing up for winter days.

"He showed a little thing, the quantity of a hazel-nut, lying in the palm of my hand, as meseemed, and it was as round as a ball. I looked thereon with the eyes of my understanding, and thought, 'What may this be?' and it was answered generally thus, 'It is all that is made.'

I marvelled how it might last ; for methought it might suddenly have fallen to naught for littleness. And I was answered in my understanding,

'It lasteth, and ever shall;

For God loveth it.'

And so hath all things being by Love of God."

In this little thing I saw three properties.

The first is, that God made it.

The second, that God loveth it.

The third, that God keepeth it.

For this is the cause which we be not all at ease of heart and soul; for we seek here rest in this thing which is so little, where no rest is in; and we know not our God that is all Mighty, all Wise, and all Good, for He is very rest.

God will to be known, and it pleaseth Him that we rest in Him

For all that is beneath Him, sufficeth not us."


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Where Have I Been, You May Well Ask?

This wallaby is the perfect metaphor for these past weeks. Stranded, confined, limited, solitary yet with land and freedom in view, just a bit out of reach!

As this part of the journey was traveled, as dreaded events were looming dark and large, there was once again, "room for fear to move".

Fear is such a crippling emotion. It has such octopusian tentacles that snatch and grab and squeeze the life out of the soul and spirit.

Fear, for one who knows her Guide, also spreads guilt. Isn't fear an indicator of distrust? Of unbelief? Or perhaps it is just a glaring symptom of blithering, unstable humanity.

Defined, fear is "a painful feeling of impending danger, of evil, of trouble". That pretty much sums it up what I was feeling.

The Parson, you see, was eagerly going forward to yet another major surgery. Not needful in the sense of overall health, rather for personal comfort. All that was in me cried 'STOP'. But we went forward through endless appointments and all that goes with it. Fear mounted and tongue biting became the rule of the day.

Then, Himself said one morning "I've not said anything, but I've real misgivings about all this". God be praised! And all the pent up thoughts came pouring past that bitten tongue.

Marvelous, this. The Hidden Hand working quietly in spite of my fear storm. The answer to all those panic prayers given in gentle surprise. And a dear daughter reminding me "Hmm. The I Peter 3 principle."

For This Day, this stranded wallaby is safely, happily - no joyously - on firm land once again. I'm not so naive to think that there will not be unsettling events and times of stranding ahead. But once again there is the reminder of a merciful Sovereign God at work in our lives.

Lo, we can tread rejoicing

The narrow pilgrim road;

We know the voice that calls us,

We know our faithful God.

~Gerhardt Ter Steegen