The point of my March photos were just that, pictures and very few words. Mmm.. I can't say that has really happened, it takes a lot to quieten me - those who know me know, that if there is a silence then I fill it; but if I want to sum up my experience last weekend it's in these words. Chains of Gold.
I have been having a difficult time with Tom over the last few weeks. We've been trying to teach our nearly 18 year old, first born, independence but when I see things done that are not how we've taught him; have to walk over several feet of discarded clothes and papers on his bedroom floor; watch him miss the school bus because he is not organized enough; have to search daily for lost items; etc it has been causing me a lot of pain and anguish. He is meant to be leaving home for university in a few months and..well..I'm sure you know what I mean.
On Friday, I took my place, in the quire of Salisbury Cathedral, for the Liturgy of Good Friday. The Cathedral was quiet, dimly lit and as I knelt there my mind slowly began to quieten for the first time in days and I lifted up my eldest child in prayer. And it was then that I felt my burden slowly being lifted and an overwhelming feeling of not being alone and being able to share my worries with God. Of course I've always known that but it was allowing the silence, the stillness, to permeate into my very being that made God feel so close.
Of course, those wonderful surroundings help and heavenly sound of the voices praising God. The whole experience reminded me of a very old book I found 15 years ago in a charity shop (where else!) by a man called JR Miller D.D. It is called The Touch of Christ and is a series of essays. One has never left my mind and it's called Chains of Gold, which is about a line from a Tennyson poem about prayer'..the whole round world is every way, bound by gold chains about the feet of God.' His meaning is that by our intercessions for our loved ones we are ever winding new chains about them which are also wound about God himself.
'Men make rope out of many fine threads. One thread alone will not bear much stress; but a thousand threads twisted together make a mighty cable which will hold the ship against the storm. So home prayers may seem weak threads as they are breathed out from trembling lips; but thousands of them make a mighty cable that binds the child to the throne of God. Every prayer makes the cable stronger and binds with chains of gold fast to the feet of God.'
So I left Salisbury with a new sense of the importance of stillness of mind and unceasing prayer; and am grateful for that moment of enforced quiet which led to such clarity.