10th June 2021 A Candle in the Window Peter Millar
A blessing for every person on earth:
The world now is too dangerous and too beautiful for anything but love. May your eyes be so blessed that you see God in everyone. Your ears, so you hear the cry of the poor. May your hands be so blessed that everything you touch is a sacrament. Your lips, so you speak nothing but the truth with love. May your feet be so blessed that you run to those who need you. And may your heart be so opened, so set on fire, that your love, YOUR love, changes everything. From - A Black Rock Prayer Book.
Beauty for brokenness: (some words from a great hymn by Graham Kendrick)
Beauty for brokenness, hope for despair, Lord in the suffering this is our prayer. Bread for the children, justice, joy peace, sunrise to sunset your kingdom increase........Shelter for fragile lives, cures for their ills, work for the craftsmen, made for their skills. Land for the dispossessed, rights for the weak, voices to plead for those who can’t speak………Refuge from cruel wars, havens from fear, cities for sanctuary, freedom to share. Peace to the killing fields, scorched earth to green, Christ for the bitterness, his cross for the pain……..Rest for the ravaged earth, oceans and streams, plundered and poisoned, our future, our dreams. Lord, end our madness, carelessness, greed; make us content with the things that we need………God of the poor, friend of the weak, give us compassion, we pray, melt our cold hearts, let tears fall like rain. Come, change our love from a spark to a flame.
From South Africa: Words recorded by the late Laurens van der Post from a group of local people who had survived a massacre.
We prayed so that all bitterness could be taken from us and we could start the life of our people again, without hatred. We know that out of our own suffering that life cannot begin for the better except by us all forgiving one another. For if we do not forgive, we do not understand; and if we don’t understand, we are afraid. And then we hate, and if we hate we cannot love. And so no new beginning on earth is possible without love, particularly in a world where so many find it hard to love or recognise it when it comes searching for them. The first step towards this love then must be forgiveness.
“Love is the will to be whole once again.” Alison M. Robertson
Unlike many plants that prefer one or two very different soils, climates and terrains, thistles do not discriminate. They are a bane that has spread right across my landscape. Yet they can be beautiful – after all I grow and carefully nurture lots of ornamental thistles like onopordum, echinops, eryngiums and glorious cardoons. And like everything else – literally everything – they are a thread in the infinitely complex web of life. Thistle seeds make up a third of goldfinches’ entire diet and are eaten by many other birds including green finches, linnets and siskins. Peacock and meadow brown butterflies feed on thistle nectar and painted lady butterfly larvae feed on the leaves, especially of creeping thistle. Overwintering insects often use the hollow stems of various thistles as a safe haven. In the fields on the farm we try to manage the thistles by topping them. I have spent hours with the scythe doing this in the pastures where the anthills of the yellow ants mean that the tractor and cutter cannot go without damaging both anthills and machine. The old rhyme says, ‘Cut thistles in May, they’ll grown in a day; Cut them in June, ‘tis too soon; Cut them in July, then they will surely die’. Leave them till August and the fluffy white down of the seeds floats like river mist, hundreds of which seed in this garden and across the fields of the farm. Monty Don
Post Growth: Life after Capitalism:
This is the title of a recent book by Tim Jackson, Prof of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey and I recommend it. Tim argues that capitalism as we know it is broken. The relentless pursuit of more has delivered climate catastrophe, social inequality and financial instability – and left us ill-prepared for life in a global pandemic. This passionate and provocative book dares us to imagine a world beyond capitalism – a place where relationship and meaning take their precedence over profits and power. The book is both a manifesto for system change and an invitation to rekindle a deeper conversation about the nature of the human condition. It is published by Polity Press, Cambridge, UK. ISBN 9 -781509 -542529
Casting our lot with those who change the world:
My heart is moved by all I cannot save; so much has been destroyed. I have to cast my lot with those who, age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world. Adrienne Rich
Born in poverty; died in custody: in an age of technology. Aboriginal poster