Friday, 23 April 2021

Time for calm and to hear that voice

I AM a church goer, but I do not recommend to other people that they go to church. Whether they go or not is their personal choice and I would consider it presumptuous of me to try to influence them one way or another.

If, however, they choose to ask me why I go, I will try to tell them. I would tell them I love the calm, the quiet, even the smell of the church.

I love to sit still, away from the intrusion of the daily grind, to enjoy the freedom of peace. I can almost feel the presence of souls who came here within their earthly forms hundreds of years ago. They, too, probably needed to escape – from the loom, the churn, the thresher. They came to refresh their souls, as I do. Words are not necessary, for the Almighty knows our thoughts. Just a mind empty of clutter and open to receive.

To use a cliché — it’s so often easy not to see the wood for the trees. When you are busy — albeit with the worthiest of tasks — you are often not able to see further than the problem in front of you.

Everyone needs some time. however brief, when there’s nothing in front of you, so that you can hear the voice that has no sound. A church, or a tabernacle, temple or mosque, could be that place and I feel blessed that I have such a place nearby.

I acknowledge it is a privilege for there are many Christians, and people of other religions or none, who labour tirelessly and give their lives for others without the sanctuary of a place of calm to rest.

I am reminded of a friend of mine who, as a curate in a poor district of Liverpool, would regularly give communion beside the kitchen sink to people living in tower blocks. Not much calm there.

Indeed, there is nowhere in my busy household that I find that calm — and I love it that way. Friends, animals, grandchildren all tumbling over each other — it’s what life’s about.

And yet at the end of the day we lie down to rest our bodies, ready for the next day. Should we not also find a time to refresh our minds, so they can also prepare themselves for the way ahead?

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