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Living the hope of renewal

News St Martin – Talking Points

Sunday 14 July 2013

I am writing this in a heat wave.  In times like these it can be difficult to remember what it felt like to feel cold in February (or April, come to that).

Surrounded by abundant life now, it seems strange to recall that in January I made a promise to myself to buy a bunch of daffodils every week for as long as they were available.

Daffodils are bright, joyful, somehow irrepressible.  I wanted to be reminded that, just when the ground was hard as iron, new life was waiting to burst out.  But the daffodils represented more than the hope of renewal.  They helped me to live that renewal in the cold, dark places of winter.  Giving me a glimpse of something transcendent, they drew my gaze beyond the darkness to the light, encouraging me to find that light in the world around me.  

Finding this light involves allowing it to shine through us for other people.  In one of Jesus’ parables, the Good Samaritan sees a fellow human being, who has been attacked and left for dead, in need of his help.  Putting aside his own purposes for a while, he does what he can – binding up the man’s wounds, taking him to a place of safety and paying for further care.  He perceives what the others on the road do not: he realises that this man is part of his community in a fundamental way.  Seeing beyond the worries and distractions of this world, he does what he can to build the kingdom of God in the heart of traumatic circumstances.

God calls us to do the same.  Sometimes that means binding up wounds; sometimes it means listening to and holding the pain of others; but sometimes it’s as simple as sharing with them the joy inspired by daffodils.

Caroline Essex