Thought for the month

May 02 2013

Spring - a time to remember God's gift of life

Spring - a time to remember God's gift of life

I ABSOLUTELY love walking our Westie in May! The usual route of down Croomes Hill and on over Frenchay bridge and around is decorated with the most magnificent magnolias and cherry blossom. The grass on the common is greener than ever and growing faster than the cows can cope. Everything has come alive!  

I had walked down that road in March to visit a 91 year old lady in hospital, Margaret. I knew it would probably be the last time I would see her. It was. Ten minutes before I arrived she had died - her family at her bedside. I prayed with them, and each of us held a palm cross. It was Palm Sunday, the day Christians remember Jesus’ final journey to death, and through death, to life. 

Easter has come and quickly gone. In May however, the Church celebrates the festival of Pentecost, a time that looks back to when God’s LIFE was ‘let loose’ in the world in a whole new way. This was the time when the Holy Spirit, the same life-giving Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, was poured out in power. From that time on, the Spirit of God has continued to bring new life to this world.  

As I walked slowly back from the hospital, my mind went to some words from the Irish poet, Gerard Kelly. He wrote them having just witnessed the death of one of his close friends, John Baker. You can read them in a minute. But before you do, I wonder if you’d take a moment to pause and bring to mind someone you know who is nearing that final journey. Maybe there is something you can see out of the window that is in full bloom. Let it remind you that everything in its own time has the potential to become fully alive, because the Spirit of God has been let loose in the world. In this life and in the mystery of what lies beyond our sight, the new life of God can work its miracles. 


Here’s the poem: 


It was a marvellous healing;

after months of asking, of waiting;

after the desperate slow deterioration

the warring tides of faith and doubt;

to be released in an instant from every pain.

It was as if the molecules of his flesh

had been infused, invaded

with the life of God

until he was filled, fit to burst,

with the shalom, the peace,

of the Father’s rule.

Limbs that had fallen flaccid with weakness

waved and danced for joy;

lungs that had so utterly failed him

sang out with strength and boldness.


He ran

through the unfamiliar sunlight,

drinking it in, 

experiencing all at once

the thousand and one feelings

that for so long had been denied him.


It was a marvellous healing:

to be so totally restored,

Made whole, rebuilt.

It had just surprised him,

a little,

that he had had to die to receive it.