God of Surprises
Many of us will have enjoyed and been inspired by Gerard Hughes’ wise book ‘God of Surprises ' where he invites and guides us to find spiritual treasure within. I find it often works the other way too. I look for surprises in creation and that helps me to trust the God of surprises, “the God who makes all things new”(Rev.21.5). When Jesus walked the earth he did truly amazing things which turned life upside down for many and embodied God’s immense generosity and grace (eg healings, feeding of the 5000, wedding at Cana etc.). And nature continually shows us miracles which awe and surprise us.
Here at the Bield a few (of many) examples come to mind. The meadow stretches towards the horse paddock and at the moment it is a bright yellow with cowslips carpeting it, and we have no idea how they came to be part of the Bield environment. They were certainly not planted but began appearing about 10 years ago. Another example: Three years ago, we noticed a small clump of white wood anemones in the meadow and another near the shelter belt. They are now spreading to cover ever wider areas. It feels like a divine gift but also an offering from Denmark where this is the flower that forms ground cover in beech forests (rather than the blue bells of Scotland) And how can I not mention our ducks? For the past 5 years, Mother Duck supervised by Mr Mallard has nested in different parts of the (can’t be comfortable) box hedge in the Walled Garden and made a brief appearance with a clutch of ducklings which she has hurried along to a stream. Miracles of new life.
As life becomes freer of Covid restrictions, and opens up again, I believe many of us will continue to be much more conscious of the God of Surprises than before and notice new gifts. We look very much forward to sharing the life of the Bield with you again as we open on 11th May and to experience the God of Surprises and new life among us.
We can’t help however at this time to feel deep compassion for those still caught in the horrors of the pandemic in places like India and Brazil. We pray for healing of the sick, comfort for the grieving, and protection for all who are well and for those involved in caring and helping.
The Tapestry prayer
God of all hope
We give you thanks for all things woven and for those things still to be:
Out of pain, you weave joy;
Out of our squares, you weave a tapestry;
Out of separateness, you weave a whole;
The tapestry is woven together from many lives as a symbol of hurt and hope
May everyone find a new pattern in your mercy and love
May we share a new vision of what could be
May we open our eyes to resurrection
To love greater than fear
To hope beyond death
And to the new life which binds us together in Christ Jesus.