In this Pentecost season, in the churches in the southern hemisphere, we see the signs of new life begin to emerge in the garden after the long cold Winter. Winter is the time when plant and tree growth slow down and seem to wait till the sun and the conditions are right before the buds of Spring emerge.
I was struck by the words of indigenous leader, Wangarr Dhamarrandji from Galiwinku Community (in the Bible studies from this year’s Uniting Church Assembly) shown in our NAIDOC 12 July service. She spoke of God’s love and creation as interwoven: “If we see God’s creation looking closer to our surroundings and we see closer to God’s love in that creation.”
Certainly, the beautiful jonquil flowers by my letterbox speak to me of how God’s love emerges after a significant time of being hidden like bulbs under the ground. Spring flowers and blossoms can be seen as vivid examples of God’s love. They speak without words of patient trust and bright joy, and invite me and I think, also us, to marvel at the signs of life that the different seasons bring. Perhaps, we might connect our life experiences with the life of plants around us. We too might need time and patience as we slowly emerge, as individuals and as a community from being hidden from view in these last years to re-emerge as a church community.
Pierre Teilhard De Chardin, twentieth century, French Jesuit scholar and scientist, calls us on our journeys of faith to be patient and “Above all, trust in the slow work of God”. His wisdom is expressed here:
Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new. And yet it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability—and that it may take a very long time. And so, I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow, let them shape themselves, without undue haste. Don’t try to force them on, as though you could be today what time (that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your own good will) will make of you tomorrow. Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be. Give Our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you, and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.
—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ excerpted from Hearts on Fire
In this season, let us trust as Teilhard De Chardin invited the “grace and circumstances” that will accompany us as a pilgrim people still on the way, and not there yet!
We can also in faith trust we are not alone, no matter what the season, that God is beside us, within us, and leading us.
Peace and Blessing