We seek to align ourselves to God’s perspective, not to present God with ours. Nicola Slee expresses this beautifully:

Give me the resolution to say ‘No’ to the good so that I will be ready to say ‘Yes’ to the better.

Give me the courage to keep living in the open- endedness of the future without foreclosing the mysterious work of your Spirit in my haste or fear.

Give me the persistence to stay in the wilderness of unknowing until I am ready to receive your call.

Give me the strength to keep still and keep waiting when all about me is pushing towards movement and activity and choice.

Give me the acceptance to live these days in uneventfulness, simplicity and hiddenness, without craving excitement, distraction or change.

Give me the grace to live in the emptiness of not doing without the rewards of achievement, fulfilment or success.

Give me the wisdom to discriminate between my own impatience to move forward and your Spirit’s deep stirring of my spirit when the time is right to move.

Give me the faith to trust in your obscurity, the obedience to stay faithful to your mystery, the courage to keep tryst with your inscrutability.

 

In the palm of His hand

 

News and false news

Rumours and speculation

Comment and analysis

Fear and frustration

Impossible questions

Fielded answers

But I am safe

In the palm of His hand

 

Certainties no longer certain

Structures shaken

Routines ruined

Unexpected becomes expected

Distance and isolation

Insecurity and sanctuary

But I am safe

In the palm of his hand

 

When will it end?

How can it end?

What will remain?

What have we learnt?

Where will we be?

Whatever is to come

I am safe

In the palm of his hand

Cheryl Coverley April 2020

 

The gift of hiddenness

What if the gift

is hidden within crisis

and isolation?

 

What if the gift

is hiddenness itself?

 

What if it is not about absence

but about presence?

 

In a world where everything

is ‘out there’ –

what I had for breakfast

‘Gender reveal’

quantities of ‘likes’

selfies

endless posts……

what if God has something for us

that is unseen

unobserved by others,

private

personal

precious…….

 

In days before ultra sound

and 4D scans,

God saw the Psalmist’s unformed body within the womb;

what intimacy

when all was concealed from human eyes.

 

What of the ‘Messianic secret’

the knowing of Jesus’ identity

which was not yet fully revealed?

Or his words

of seeds growing secretly –

their future fruitfulness

displayed in due course?

The ‘now’ and the ‘not yet’

of God’s kingdom?

 

And what of our own secrets –

wonderful news to be shared

when the time is right?

And in that waiting

is there impatience or eager anticipation?

Frustration or the treasuring of the season

as Mary treasured her joy in her heart?

 

What might God want to birth in us,

end in us,

address in us

in solitude

isolation

and hiddenness?

 

What if He has a plan and a purpose

for this very time

these particular circumstances

that could not happen any other way?

When busyness, distraction

and competing ‘good’ things

divert us from the ‘better’ He is calling us to?

 

When we are ever conscious of the eyes that are on us?

Or the eyes we want to be on us?

 

As Jesus sought out quiet places,

lonely places

where he could be with God,

maybe God has given us

a rare opportunity

to step aside

and be

 

just be

 

away from other eyes

no boxes to tick;

competences to achieve;

goals to attain;

with space

and time to

 

become

 

and then be resourced for the next step

the fruitful work

not based on routines,

past expectations,

‘We’ve always done it this way’,

but the new things that He has for us

individually and corporately

following on from the hiddenness;

of the seed dying in the ground

being transformed,

and then revealed.

 

Do we have eyes to see?

To discover the gift

hidden for us

as we are hidden from others?

 

And will we remember that we are never hidden from God?

Dare we treasure our hiddenness from other eyes

receiving the gift in the darkness

that will prepare us to emerge in the light?

 

Cheryl Coverley   April 2020