A New Way of Living
Going into my 8th week of isolating, apart from dog walking and the occasional visit to the local farm shop, I am wondering how everyone else is doing? The landlord of our pub has been organising veg & fruit boxes and cooking pizza for us to take away on Saturday. The other two local pubs are doing take away meals two or three times a week. We all feel we should support local eateries because no one knows when they might re-open.
I have been enjoying joining in various Zoom meetings organised by different people connected with Fatherheart, including me who had a virtual brunch with Richard Jones speaking on vulnerability. Other people also shared what Father is doing in their hearts at this time of lockdown. Personally, it has been an opportunity to draw closer to the one who created me. That doesn't mean that there hasn't been low times when I've wished the dogs would actually talk back to me and times when I have doubted Father being there at all but, strangely, the longer this goes on and the more I have to lean into Him, because there is no one else, the more I feel His love and comfort and in that I have felt amazing joy. I am beginning to realise that this is what we are made for.........relationship with the Father, which I knew but because of allowing busyness in to my life, I hadn't been living out. I really pray when things are back to normal that I don't revert to shutting Him out. That every moment of every day will be walking with Him. All else springs from that relationship.
I feel it is so important to hear other people's testimonies and not just have someone talking at us and thankfully everyone I know who speaks within Fatherheart Ministries understands this. Sharing is such an important part of us growing as sons and daughters. Shannon, from South Carolina, shared on the Zoom organised by Andy Glover on Saturday. It really resonated with me. Erik de Kruk had been speaking before that about "Coming Home" and Shannon went on to say that she had struggled because she didn't feel covered by God but by talking this through with Him she realised that she had always been covered by Him and she suddenly felt a home coming and great joy. I have a very long testimony (because it went on for 5 years!) where after several people prophesying Hosea 2:14 over me, I some how felt I needed to go to a "desert place" to receive the promise. A month at the Gathering in New Zealand ( there is another testimony within that of how Father opened my heart to love others more), two trips to Great Barrier Island for three months to take part in Fatherheart INS school, a trip to Israel where I tried to hunt down exactly where the Valley of Achor was and numerous other trips I still didn't understand. Then one day in 2018 I took a trip to the Peak District with my two dogs. I had never been there before, it was a beautiful day and after a long walk I sat under a tree to have a picnic. I said to Father, "I really love it here, I feel so at home here, I am wondering whether I am being called to move here?" He replied, "At last the eyes of your heart are open so you truly believe & know that I live in you, and wherever you are you will feel at home because home is wherever I am!" Everything I could ever want starts with knowing and experiencing that. He promised to be my husband, I don't know why I felt I needed to travel thousands of miles to allow Him to fulfil that promise!
Of course I am not saying that we don't also need human contact. I desperately miss seeing my family and friends in the flesh and hugging them, particularly my grandchildren. I miss doing normal things like going out to lunch with friends or meeting up for coffee or to go shopping. We were all created for relationship and I look forward very much to being able to do those things again. But I hope we won't forget too soon how important a phone call to someone on their own is or the offer of doing shopping for others. Others have gone the extra step and volunteered for the NHS and there have been amazing stories of kindnesses and sacrifice. I have been reading more of David Adam who draws much that he writes about from the Celtic monks. I am reading "The Cry of the Deer" based on the hymn of St Patrick. In it he quotes the the Celtic Rune of Hospitality used by the Iona Community;
"I saw a stranger at yestere'en.
I put food in the eating place
drink in the drinking place,
music in the listening place, and in the sacred name of the Triune
He blessed myself and my house, my cattle and my dear ones,
and the lark said in her song
often, often, often,
goes the Christ in the stranger's guise"
David Adam died in January this year and I believe the last book he wrote in 2018 is the one I have just finished called "Love the World", which I found fascinating, informative and awe provoking! He talks of space, the big bang, the elements, how things came into being and the connection of all things to all things In his introduction he says, "For so much of our lives, we are distracted. We may be living in the present but our minds have tended to race ahead, worrying about what is coming, or, when things are too difficult, retreating to comforting memories of the past. The great challenge is to learn to be still and make space in our lives for living in the now." A lovely friend of mine, Helene King, has been saying that for years! Having talked of science and how things have come about throughout the book the very last chapter is titled "Love" and concludes with the words of Julian of Norwich who lived at a time of war, plague and famine in the fourteenth century, "Would you know our Lord's meaning in this? Learn it well. Love was His meaning. Who showed it to you? Love. Why did He show you? For Love. Hold fast to this, and you shall learn and know more about Love, but you will never need to know or understand about anything else for ever and ever. Thus did I learn that Love was our Lord's meaning."
"But the greatest of these is love.."
May you know the Father's Love, Peace and Joy during these difficult times and may others see it through you as we start to return to more "normal" times. But let us not forget to "just be" and live in the now.
The Blessing of the Triune God be with you.