Years ago I realised that if I ever wrote a book it would be called ‘The Long Way Home’.
I have never been one for finding the quickest, fastest, route through things – often travelled the back roads before finding the highway. But I actually like the back roads.
At school I was always much more suited to and preferred cross country than the 100 metre sprint. I preferred Art and English Literature where permission was given to wonder and wander than the precise expectations of some other subjects.
On my wonderings and wanderings using the term literally and metaphorically, I discover all sorts of hidden delights and treasures…
The photo above includes 2 brilliant and unexpected things.
When we had the snow a short while ago, I purposefully left the route I was walking on to take a photo of the old water pump that is embedded in and embraced by the trunk of a tree beside a weir in our locality. The embedded water pump itself is extraordinary and not noticed by many as it is quite camouflaged by the undergrowth and ivy around it – so to arrive and find not only the water pump still lovingly embraced by the flourishing tree but a Kingfisher was unexpected privilege, pure gift. Can you see the bright blue of his back in the centre of the picture? Because I was at his rear he did not know I was present and I was able to watch him for a few moments before he flashed his bright blue wings and was gone…
I have seen a Kingfisher there once before after a huge storm last February – perhaps February is a good month for spotting him….
If we do not wander off the beaten path, or wonder in our minds we can miss so much that creation offers us, that God may want to share with us.
Availability, openness, observancy, questioning and vulnerability are all necessary qualities for prayerful contemplation and conversation with God our Creator. They are qualities we can practice, nurture, accept and enjoy. They are also necessary gifts in community. If we are not open and available to each other, curious in a healthy way, community can rarely flourish.
However it does need to be said that if the running of the world was left to me we might not get much done, so let us celebrate each other and the gifts we bring to life, and learn from each other: love the sprinters, love the goal setters, the mathematicians, love the scientists, love the amblers, musicians, artists, linguists, birdwatchers, endless professions, craft and trades, lifestyles and stories, the list is infinite and we are all such a gift to each other.
The Living Well is a place that you can spend time quietly, gently, contemplating and musing. Experiencing the goodness of God and His love for you. You can come with a goal for the day and find that you have achieved it as other distractions are kept at bay. You can come and simply be.
All being well we open our literal physical doors again mid April for individual retreats and in person prayer appointments.
We hope by May/June to be able extend that welcome to small groups and worship at the premises. Until that time we continue to offer supportive listening, and healing prayer appointments online. Thursday 25/3 we hold Worship online and a Quiet Morning on 27/3 – details for booking all of the above are here on or website and social media.
It would be remiss of me to write this article and not mention the poem – Prayer is like Watching for the Kingfisher by Ann Lewin – easily found on your search engine.
With every hope of continued growing freedom in Christ Jesus and with every hope of greater freedom in our physical circumstances as we wait, muse, ponder, pray for and treasure all that God is doing amongst us in these days, all that we share in most profoundly and deeply in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.