Come, Holy Spirit, Come

Acts 2:6
They were all excited, because all of them heard the believers talking in their own languages. When this sound occurred, a crowd came together and was confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. When that sound came, a crowd quickly gathered, startled because each one heard the disciples speaking in his own language.

Imagine the excitement of being one of the crowd that day, to be included in the conversations that surrounded you.
It’s easy to presume when we read this well-known passage ( Acts 2:6) that the language they all heard was spoken.
For some adults and children, the spoken / written language is not their own language.
For those of us that are wired slightly differently ( neurodiverse ) our first language is not always written / spoken. Some of us are picture thinkers. A picture thinker is someone who thinks primarily in pictures instead of the sound of words . Those with dyslexia, auditory processing, attentions issues like ADD/ADHD are people who might be picture thinkers
For those of us that think in pictures we live in a world that rarely speaks our language. Daily we can feel isolated, excluded and ashamed of our inability to communicate with others.  We find ourselves exhausted as we struggle to read, write and function in a world that often perceives us as weird or even stupid.
Being neurodiverse means that we think and learn in a different way to other people. We often have particular strengths such as thinking outside the box, seeing the bigger picture and creative thinking.
When my dyslexic mind walks through what happened on that day of Pentecost.
I wonder how many of those stood in the crowd that day heard pictures being spoken from Peter’s words.
Peter explained to the crowd that everything had been written in the Scriptures about Jesus long before he had ever been born. He told the people that God sent Jesus to save them.
Some of the crowd that day might have seen the story of the messiah. They might have an image that represented  their own sorrow and visualised their own forgiveness.
For the first time in their lives they may have felt truly understood. A way that would have seemed impossible only hours before.
The Spirit comes as an companion, a teacher, a Guide, to be with us – to remind us who we are and to whom we belong. To strengthen us for the task of living as God’s people in the world.  It is the spirit that transforms us and weaves the gospel into our own language.  That gives us a place of peace to go out into in a world that we cannot understand.  It is only because we are understood and loved by God that we can be encouraged to let go of our fears and anxieties and walk into a world that scares us.
It’s the miracle of language. God showed himself willing to step into our individual space and verbalize a message in a language that we could understand. God showing his love to us. And maybe the greatest miracle, and the best explanation, of God happens when we take that love, given freely to us, and share it without reservation with each other.

Come, Holy Spirit, come.
FB9C89E4-7FEC-44BF-9C66-F6F44E84A2A7

Involucrata nutlet of hope

Our bracts of mystic dove wings weep deeply.
Stirred by the beauty of nature.
An earthly unquestioning belief.
Of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

We believe in the involucrata nutlet of hope.
Stratification of music, poetry and love.
Dormancy broken by a whispered Bible verse.
That sudden pain of love sparking germination.
A new hope, new growth.
An awakening.

Augustine Henry saw handkerchiefs.
Wang Zhaojun saw doves.
when we leave the heard and seen.
Slip out into the garden of grace.
Our heart shaped leaves become evergreen.
No decay, no sound, no colour.
But only a tearful essence .
It’s in this moment we see God
God who weeps with us.

857D34AF-91B5-47F1-8482-2BBD68F17DFD

 

Beyond my Boundaries.

Gardening is a massive part of my spiritual life. Its a commitment to a simple way of living, searching for a more sustainable lifestyle. This has drawn me closer to the idea of getting an allotment.
It’s being sustained both physically and spiritually, by what we grow and how we grow it.
It does seem a rather bonkers idea to take on an overgrown allotment right now. But it seems so right. Almost significant and defiantly something to celebrate.
My garden teaches me to look for God in all my daily activities and encounters. It reminds me of how we change from season to season.
The garden takes away the complexity of life that fills my mind. It’s a place that I don’t fail, It’s a place that forgives, it’s a place that grows. It’s a place that shows me the love, beauty and diversity of God our creator.
It opens my eyes to the smallest weed and allows me to see its beauty. It tells me God will never abandon me. However small and weedy I might feel my garden gives love and shows love.
So where is this allotment going to fit in? How will it differ from my garden?

My allotment has no fences, no visible boundaries.

It’s taking what I know outside of myself ( outside of my garden ). It’s time to start sowing seeds beyond the safety of the fences, beyond my boundaries.

IMG_0966.JPG

Ivy-  Hedera helix – Hedera  a classical Latin name for ‘ivy . Helix is derived from Greek helico- (spiral) meaning ‘screw-shaped coil, winding around or twisted’

It’s new.
It’s fresh new soil, new beginning. Gods grace forgives, allows me to start over and over again. I feel this little patch of mud is a new beginning. I’m not sure where it’s going, it’s new and exciting, the first physical seeds are still yet to be sown.

IMG_0969

Growing with that community.
It’s almost as if this allotment is a stepping stone. An opportunity to prove to myself that I can join a new community. I can sow and grow outside the comforts of my own garden. I can grow with confidence knowing God is with me.
I cannot hide on my allotment, my efforts, my disasters, are their to be shared in the community of gardeners.

IMG_0971

Using my gifts
I always feel so confident when I garden. It gives me a glimpse of the person that I could be.
This little patch of earth will teach me to take the strengths and gifts that God has given me out into the community.

IMG_0982

Love
You need love to grow. Telling someone they are loved is something I never do often enough.
Growing flowers and giving them away is something I can do. One small part of this little allotment will be for cut flowers. Flowers Grown to be given away, grown so people feel loved.

IMG_0981

Sweet pea – Lathyrus odoratus ” The Bride 

Maturity.
My garden is in a few places is reaching maturity. It requires light maintenance a couple of times a year.
It looks good and feels amazing to see my vision growing, being almost self-sustaining in places. So I do have time for this exciting new venture.
Allotments are a place of conversation, community, companionship, sharing the harvest, sharing my love for creation.
It’s a perfect place to share my love for Jesus. It’s the first step to sharing what burns inside my heart in a place that I feel comfortable, passionate, and connected.
A place by its own nature is rooted in love.

IMG_0976

2 Timothy 1:7 Good News Translation (GNT)
7 For the Spirit that God has given us does not make us timid; instead, his Spirit fills us with power, love, and self-control.

Growing From World To Word.

Writing this blog has been for my benefit. The writing started when I went through a life-changing event. It’s helping me try and process my thoughts and feelings. When the pain was at its strongest pressing the publish button was a short-term release.
Sending my pain into the ether dumping it on the world helped my grief, gave me focus and purpose.
When I first put pen to paper I was scared.
Fearful that: I would no longer see the beauty that surrounds us, forget how to smile, scared I would not see beauty in creation, frightened that my grief would totally consume me.
That’s why the title of my blog is “ It’s a beautiful world “ ( read more and all will be explained )
It helped me, amazingly people read my blog! not only that they took the time to like my blogs even leaving thoughtful comments.
Every blog takes a lot of time and effort. Spelling and grammar is a constant battle, I am so determined it will not stop me writing.
I have had to learn about sentence structures, going back to the basics learning what I missed out on at primary school.
Learning to find ways around my dyslexia has improved my writing. Conquering my fears has seen my confidence grow.
I have also learnt that when the blog was created I misspelt world and that my blog is called it’s a beautiful word ( not world ).
When this was pointed out to me I saw the humour in this. The humour was short lived when it seemed more purposeful, growing from world to word started to take on its own meaning.
When I started my blog it was all about seeing everyday beauty in the world. Writing and journeying with my blog I have discovered that words are beautiful too, not something to avoid or be afraid of.
My blog is my journey from the visual world to the deeper inside world of me, my spiritual journey, the word of God guiding, inspiring, pushing, almost shouting me along.

When big things happen it’s writing that gives it some certainty conforming my thoughts and feelings.
One big thought has been on continuous repeat in my head for many months “ is God opening new doors to me in a way that seem impossible.”
The person ( me) that started this journey was petrified of words. I left the library book club due to my fear of being asked to read aloud. Avoided writing whenever possible, if their was a card to sign I would never sign it ashamed of my handwriting /spelling, this is all slowly changing.
It’s God that’s pushing me forward changing my beautiful world and allowing me to see beautiful words.
As the fear very slowly eases so the direction all this is going is starting to unfold.
The calling I have to be alongside people in our communities is overpowering. Exploring the possibilities of being called to ordination is the path that I am walking.
It seems totally bonkers, repeatedly asking myself can this be real. Can I, Could I be called to be a Deacon? Is this even possible?
This is not my plan; it’s coming from God. I am going to have to push myself every step of the way acting out of my comfort zone beyond what I ever imagined and believed I am capable of.
Last night I sat with lots of people that have a calling and was not afraid to be their ( Three years ago I would never have gone ).
I was not afraid of who I am and what I believe.
The best thing about last night I felt comfortable with the conversations. I was quiet but learnt so much listening. Just like the written word the spoken word will take me time for me to practice it before I see and feel its beauty too. But the best bit was I felt like it was the place God wanted me to be.

1 Samuel 16:7The Message (MSG)

But God told Samuel, “Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed with his looks and stature. I’ve already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.”

IMG_7341.JPG

Hospitality is love

Day sixteen  – lent challenge – Hospitality 

Entering a church opening the old doors gives feels me with wonder , what’s inside what will it feel like , walking into church feeling the spirituality of it, the high ceilings that call you to look upwards , the silence and stillness, escaping form the hustle and bustle of the modern world. I place to pray and ponder to be alone but not be alone .
I recently visited a church that seemed to be more about the brand of coffee it was serving than about a place a worship.
It was a place of high tech audio equipment , screens on every pillar, microphones, drum kits, computers and open plan offices and a coffee shop, looking upward the eye was drawn to the cables weaving their way in and out of the pillars.
Coffee was served with a smile and brought to the table but where was god ??
I found myself trying to pray trying to connect with something anything but nothing was their the experience was cold and in need of love, god was missing.

Hospitality is so much more than a branded cup of coffee, hospitality is love , god is love , the lady’s that make coffee each week in our church and at church events are gifted in conversation welcoming smiling , washing up, working in the back ground often unseen but so very valued, they don’t sell a branded coffee , they share and show what it is to be loved by god.

Perhaps this is the moment you were created for” Esther 4:14.

IMG_6058

Next Step.

Confirmation just seemed the next step to say yes to Jesus and wanting to spend my life following him. I thought about being confirmed in my teenage years but had no real desire to do it, other than it would please my mum.
Being confirmed now was the right time for me. To affirm for myself my faith and grow myself spiritually.
I attended confirmation classes and found the mix of people and their views fascinating. It was a safe place to express my thoughts and feelings and I soon realised there where no right or wrong answers.
The day before I was confirmed, a friend said to me don’t be surprised or disappointed if you don’t feel anything. It had not occurred to me that I would feel a thing. I was just going into this open hearted and open minded.
The service was lovely relaxed and beautiful. When the bishop laid her hands on me and said her words I did feel something.
The words she spoke where slow and muffed and almost like they were coming from inside me. It felt like at that moment there was only me in the church .
I felt something that was strong and powerful and stronger. More direct than the feeling I felt in the garden some 18 months before.
Seconds seemed like minutes and when I had to get up my legs would hardly work. The hymn that we next sung gave me time compose myself and my jelly like legs return to normal.
This does all sound amazing, but it was a very strange feeling. Sometimes I am unsure how to process these feelings and what they mean.
I am often left feeling confused and wonder what God is asking from me and how to I do it .

The most important thing for me is to still be me but just a better me.

image