Some days the Holy Spirit has a way of delivering what you need when you need it!
Previous to my appointment to St Aidan’s four years ago, I was rector of a wonderful community of people in Tecumseh, St Mark’s by-the-Lake. Among the many meaningful modes of ministry in that church was a Lenten Outreach and Justice Series complemented with a Lenten Reflection Booklet. The booklet was a the fruitful work of Nancy, one of the community of saints. Today I received a copy of the 2016 edition of the booklet. It came with a beautiful note of love and condolence attached.
One of the reflections in the booklet is a poem from the poet Rainer Maria Rilke
God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.
Book of Hours, I 59
I love this poem and was glad to read it today. Beauty and terror, it will all happen to us. No feeling is final. Nearby is the country called life. We have all at some time or another experienced beauty beauty and terror. We may have all felt that in the moments of terror that it could not be over soon enough.We may have all felt in the moments in beauty that it could not last long enough. The Holy Spirit comes to us, speaks to us, holds us by the hand, accompanies us to our limits. We are not alone. In the extremes, in the highs and the lows, it would be easy enough to lose sight of God’s abiding and loving presence but for the Word that reminds us that we are beloved — God speaks to us as a Mother in a crowded public square and says, “do not let yourself lose me…Give me your hand!”
Reading Nancy’s handwritten note is a reminder that God is all abiding. As an act of prayer, spend some time this weekend thinking of who might need to read handwritten note from you. I will do the same. Thanking God for the gift of an old fashioned piece of mail today!
Kevin, this is lovely and links you to me as well. I still have a strong memory of going out to St Mark’s on a terrible wet night to hear about WATER from you and enjoy the discussion that followed. That meeting and hearing about your doctoral thesis later brought me to St Aidan’s when I visit London. I feel joy there and see faithful people.
Nancy was another faithful one as was Ray Hinton whose funeral you took. Sad times, like your own loss of a a dear mother but cushioned by old friends like Nancy. Isn’t God’s timing great!I love her words,”Tears are the enemy of the devil” They certainly relieve the sadness we feel as well as memories of joy.
Those Word she quoted from my grandmother… “Tears are the enemy of the devil”
thank you for your feedback Jane. Those were good days.