February Writing 2021

February 1st

From Frances

Based on Isaiah 43

Now you’ve asked me to be your guide, you will know that we tread the path of life together. That means, for you, there will be a new way, a new normal, a new experience. We will be so team spirited that those meandering paths in life will seem straight and the landscape flat to walk on. I will be your shelter, your living water, your nourishment for life’s journey. You can look back, but it will offer you so little reward that you will want to face forward and move forwards. The view will fulfil you completely. Your perception will be clear. No matter what lies ahead, you will know that all is possible with me. You will not need to be afraid. You will see families, friends and nations come together and be reconciled. Enough of this ‘walking solo’. We will have a community focus. I am doing something new. I am bringing a new desire for unity, a new perspective to treasure and you will all want to remain responsible for its care, because you will see that I care for you with a love that is deep, strong, and unquantifiable because of its magnitude.

You know that, like many before you, you have had eras of your life that have left you dry and wanting. You have walked those desert paths! All life tries to protect itself from the rays of the sun, the piercing sun, that burns as though it has doubled in size and intensity. In your desert era, you tried desperately to escape from it but there was no shelter and no way to progress pain free. On those desert paths, walking, hopping, or running burns underfoot, scolds and forms sores on your skin. Anything and everything made your own desert era worse and there was nowhere and no way to hide, though you tried. Desert travel turns the sensations of thirst and hunger into close enemies. Your own desert experience made enemies of your own mind, body, and soul. You endured the valleys of life’s arduous paths whilst being chained to false hope for better times ahead. Those times were like deceptive paths of promise that are steep, rocky, and dangerous to climb. In that time of your life, you longed to see a fresh landscape heralding better times ahead because you felt your life was at stake.

But you can be reassured, pilgrim, your life is safe because I am the author of life. I do not deal death in the way people often understand death. People understand death as an end, as if life is finite but I am without beginning or end and I work outside of time. My time is in the eternal era of ‘everlasting’. You are my creation and life, your life, doesn’t end. Your life is precious to me because I formed you. As your creator, we will always have an indelible connection. There isn’t even anything I would give you up for. I have everything and you are treasured part of my everything. There’s no one I would give you to. Why would I give you to someone or something that I have created, that I already own? I wouldn’t even want to put you under someone else’s authority. To do so wouldn’t make any sense. What would be the point of giving you to someone who would not love you as I love you? I would never part from you because my love and compassion for you is perfect and insurmountable.

So, let’s talk while we walk this journey called life . . .

©Frances Burton

February 17th

Ash Wednesday

As memories of pancakes vanish
the Lenten offering awaits
for bowed heads and contrite hearts.
Humanly torn crosses lie dismantled,
echoing past and present human conflicts,
along with self-made, bewildering human pain
that numbs and paralyses the mind.
But those crosses are blessed,
purified by God’s cleansing fire,
igniting the promise of growth to come.
Blended by drops of healing, Holy oil.
Ready to be used as a witness
to God’s great forgiveness and everlasting Love.
Strengthened with a million uttered prayers
from every race and nation,
And outstretched helping hands,
so that we can live with renewed strength –
in God’s Faith, Hope and Love

Helen McNichol

February 22nd

A reflection from Frances:

The Lord is the Greatest Creator

The Lord is the greatest creator and we are full of joy.

Built into the laws of the universe,
hope can be found in disaster
and we are included so we can bring hope
and light up love as the answer.

Integral to the laws of the universe,
growth is seen in unforeseen places
and deep inside we thirst to thrive
and do the unexpected.

Innate within the laws of the universe,
We can find peace in discord and separation,
and we are included so that we can bring
accord and reparation.

Inherent in the laws of the universe,
There is a pure source of patience,
And we are included so we can resource
patience in static situations.

The Lord is the greatest creator and we are full of joy.

Reflection on Psalm 126 verse 3 by Frances Burton