This is my mother’s cut glass bowl, filled with sweetpea flowers from her garden. They smell and look beautiful!
The bowl sits on the windowsill in the dining room and nearly always has something in it. Perhaps next time we visit it will be full of trifle or clementines or loose change, buttons and her car keys! Usually it’s something that smells good, or brings pleasure or is precious and needs to be kept safe.
There are in between times though, where it is cleaned out and polished up and set on the sill with nothing but its own beauty to recommend it – no ‘useful’ purpose, nothing to ‘give’ to others, no role. And I’ve noticed that in those moments, as the light shines in through the window, I can suddenly see its own beauty, and the beauty of light caught in cut glass and fractured into a rainbow of colours.
We are so much like this bowl. There are seasons of usefulness of different kinds, when our lives are filled to overflowing with ministry, mission, family and community. Sometimes there doesn’t seem like enough room inside the bowl to contain all the things it is expected to hold, and at other times we are called just to be and to let go of our need to do.
And what God has been saying to me is that when this bowl is full of flowers it is not longing for the time when it was brimming with custard or looking ahead to the next season of roses. It can live fully in this season: enjoying its joys and enduring its hardships, knowing that one day a new season will come, but that it hasn’t yet.
I search for you: I strain ahead to look for you to see where we will go together Longing to know, longing to be there and I glimpse your face through the mist. I turn around to look back at the place where I saw you last felt your touch, saw you move, joined the dance but the moment has gone. and yet when I open my eyes I see you are with me now