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.
The heart is always praying,
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,
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
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
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
*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)