whole: day 12

It is the whole of nature, extending from the beginning to the end that constitutes the one image of God Who Is.

St Gregory of Nyssa, On the creation of Man

The language of God is life itself, and I live with the unquenchable need to take my life in my hands and try to read the divine alphabet written upon it.

(from Firstlight, Sue Monk Kidd, cited in The Gift of Wonder, Christine Aroney-Sine (97))

How does hearing play a part in knowingdarkly?  I hear God speak to me, though rarely with some ghostly disembodied voice.  God speaks to me through the natural world around me.  God speaks to me through the Bible when I hear a ‘word’ distilled through the practice of Lectio and Visio Divina.  God speaks to me through other people, as likely to be someone in the corner shop as someone in a pulpit.  

I do have a few beloveds who are my ‘kitchen table church’ (though we have never gathered together in one place at one time), whom I trust implicitly to speak to me of what they see God doing in my life, as I speak of where God is in theirs.  

Yet, all the things I hear ‘God’ say, have to be sifted in my heart. They have to be checked and tested to ensure they are full of truth; that they are not the latest list of ‘oughts, musts, shoulds’ from my depressed mind, dressed up in so-called spiritual language. 

darkling I listen*

Knowingdarkly trusts that these sifted ‘hearings’ or shewings (as Julian of Norwich might describe them) are revelations of the Holy breaking into my here and my now.  It is not a question of believing God speaks, but rather of risking what might happen if I listen.

Sit in stillness and listen to what your heart prays.

Ruth Jewell

The heart is always praying,

and we,

as we might call a loved one we’ve not seen,

are to take a moment,

to check in.

To take the pulse,

to register the key in which

our heart is speaking,

to remember,

how prayer,

although it might be a discipline,

is also something within.

The centre of the meeting house,

the unseen, as the air in a room

a structure surrounds.

Yes, the heart has its 

constant murmurings,

a wireless connection,

a tethering itself to home.

And might we, at times,

that we voice the thoughts 

our hearts are always speaking,

find the themes our lives

are following,

and the ways God is responding

to the tears, the casting off of burdens,

to the offerings we’ve put 

forth, like water lilies, 

or candles alight on the sea.


Ana Lisa de Jong

Living Tree Poetry

November 2019

*from ‘Ode to a Nightingale’, John Keats

vibrations i (Canon 7D. f8. 1/800. ISO 3200)

vibrations ii (Canon 7D. f6. 1/500. ISO 200)

Published by Kate Kennington Steer

writer, photographer and visual artist

2 thoughts on “whole: day 12

    1. Yes, me too. You and I both know the truth of this don’t we? ‘And might we, at times,/that we voice the thoughts /our hearts are always speaking,/find the themes our lives/are following,/and the/ways God is responding/to the tears, the casting off of burdens,/to the offerings we’ve put /forth’. Ana Lisa is hugely talented. It’s worth looking up her Living Tree poetry on Facebook. All blessings K


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