Category Archives: beauty

Rambling (but not so random) reflections on the way things might be

Darkness is the absence of light.  Evil is the absence of good – or rather of God.

In giving his creatures love, creator God gave his creatures the choice of not-love.  In plucking that fruit from that tree, the creatures sought Me-ness which is, indeed, not-love.  In the way that love is light, not-love is the absence of that light and in the way that love leads to light, to the Light, not-love leads to darkness, to not-light.

Where there is light, there is no room for darkness; where there is love, there can ultimately be no not-love.

Creator God promises to one day reveal the fullness of Light to those who choose Love.  Not only will those who chose not-love not be able to support that Light, neither will that light be able to support its darkness – there will simply be no room.  Darkness is nothingness, light is fullness.  Where there is fullness there can be no nothingness, no not-fullness.

For those who live in Love, who live in Light, they will no longer know not-love or not-light.  Where there is fullness, there can be no nothingness, no not-fullness.  If not-love and not-light are allowed entry, there is not fullness – Love and Light are not full.

One day not-love, not-light and not-fullness will be put away and Love and Light will reign in all His fullness.  And we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

(Oh yeah, oh yeaaahhh)

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Filed under beauty, God, gospel, grace, happiness is, home, Jesus, love, perfect love, perspective, sin

Things I am learning in France : The One where I am a Mature Student (read ‘Nerd’)

I’ve been attending a language school for the sum total of three days.  I’m repeating French words ad nauseum (at times not even full words), doing grammar exercises, writing a crime novel, creating a weather report for a radio station… and LOVING it.

The highlight of my time in France so far has not been the weather, nor the great food, nor even the beauty of arriving in a new city at the most stunning leaves-turning Autumn, nor has it been (sorry) meeting the people I’ll be working with – although all of that has been incredible, I hasten to add!  The highlight of my time so far in France was an hour long lecture in a darkened room looking at slides (yes – SLIDES – as in the small individual plates of glass with pictures printed on them, not as in powerpoint) of Roman-built churches.

I began the lesson in confusion – what on earth did Roman churches have to do with French Culture (the name of the class), never mind my study of the French language?  It doesn’t help that I’ve been put in a class who are already one month into their syllabus.  However, half way through the lesson I found myself on the edge of my seat; eyes wide, nodding eagerly, smiling even with head buzzing and heart pounding – it was incredible.

For a second I saw myself through the eyes of my 19 year old student self, through the eyes of the majority of the undergraduate students around me – I was a Mature Student, ie a Nerd.  Drinking in every word and idea that was being conveyed, turning it over in my mind, poking it and turning it and revelling in the process!  Every so often the teacher would say “Its VERY interesting, isn’t it?” and I could hear my 19 year old self laughing – he was talking about how people used to build buildings for goodness sake!  I almost rolled my eyes instinctively.  And yet – and YET! – it WAS VERY INTERESTING!!! I was fascinated!!!!!

What captured me most, I think, was the passion with which the teacher spoke.  The way in which he had evidently lived and breathed the architecture of the time, he spoke authoritatively but philosophically.  He communicated with his whole body – I have never seen anyone perform a lesson in a such a way as to evoke the language of dance.  I could hear my 19-year-old self laughing and mocking his eccentricity – he was a grown man pretending to be a wall for goodness sake!  I almost nudged the person beside me instinctively.  And yet – and YET! – I have never before left a class feeling so inspired and alive!!!!

To lower the tone slightly… The experience was made all the more special when I noticed he was wearing the kind of specs that rather than having legs which balance them on your ears, they were simply balanced on his nose.  Brilliant.

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Filed under beauty, culture, France/French, happiness is, story

“Behold I am doing a new thing…”

Autumn is a great time to move somewhere new.

The trees turning from green to red to golden are not only so beautiful as to make the heart ache with joy, but they also serve to remind that change is the way of the world, and it is good.

Change brings many little deaths – the fare-thee-well of the green of well-known places and faces, the see-you-soon glowing ambers of goodbye tears and warm wishes – but autumn comes so that springtime can, in time, flourish once more with fresh growth and vigour.

Winter follows Autumn.  It can be cold and dark with unfamiliarity, slippery with icy loneliness, seemingly interminable.  But Winter has its own surprises.  Comfort found in a steaming mug.  Hope alive in clear skies and starlit pinpricks. Rest in watching and waiting the approach of new birth.

“Behold I am doing something new!  Now it Springs up; do you not perceive it?” Isa 43:19

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Filed under beauty, change, France/French, hope

The Sea, The Sea

I have never lived away from the sea.  I grew up just north of Belfast which meant that – whilst Belfast Lough isn’t exactly open ocean – I usually saw the sea at least once a week even if I wasn’t a real coastliner.  I went to University and lived in a seaside town, my year out was in Marseille on the south coast of France where the sea comes right up to the city’s main thoroughfare and now I live back up the north coast just a short drive from the sea.

But I’m soon to move away…  I’m exchanging the sea for a river and lots of castles.  I know it’ll be lovely – its a great city and there are some great people there and I’m looking forward to it for sure, but I wonder if I’ll get claustrophobic?  Out walking today (easy done when you work 3 hours a day 🙂 ) I was glorying in the joys of seaside living… wouldn’t you???

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Filed under beauty, change, France/French

Reckless Abandon

I am terrified of being myself.

I feel strength and passion within me that don’t fit with the ‘nice girl’ image that seems most acceptable to the world.

I fear stepping out as me for two main reasons.

One : My strength and passion demand a confidence and courage that would undoubtedly be intimidating to most men, thus lowering my chances even further of being fallen in love with and married.  The ridiculous thing about this is that I do not want a husband who would want me to be less than myself or what I am called to be.  I long to want that for a husband and for a husband who longs for that for me.  So to think of being a shadow of myself just so that I could marry someone is preposterous.

Two : I still fear that my strength and passion are nothing special.  That really all I have is this ball of longing for great things I cannot name and therefore cannot offer; that I cannot work out what it is I am meant to be doing and that even if I do, it won’t be anything worth making a fuss over.  These feelings are also ludicrous because why do I feel like it needs to be something that others would be able to see and to measure?

I want to be me with reckless abandon.  Like the way God created his world : tucked away animals and plants in parts of the world no human eye would ever see, flung myriads of stars into space for sheer joy rather than for counting, made music and painting and poetry…

I want to give and receive love in that way – not in the tight-fisted manner of fear and self-protection, but with freedom and joy and reckless abandon

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Filed under beauty, fear, freedom, God, heart, hope, love, risk

God’s Extravagant Beauty

I’ve been reading Surprised By Hope by Tom Wright with a friend recently.  If I ever get round to it, I’ll share some reflections from it.  But, that book and some other chats and ruminations have encouraged me muchly to rediscover and re-revel in some of the ways in which God has made this whole creation something incredibly extravagantly beautiful.

The following video is of a heart-breakingly beautiful piece of music on an instrument I’ve always wanted to play… And all the better as it is performed by my heart-breakingly beautiful friend

Hypnosis (you’ll have to download it in order to watch – worth every single 78MB)

Enjoy, friends…

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Filed under beauty, friends, music

Empathising with Eve over the Apple

Just so you know… This time next week, I will hopefully be the owner of a sparkly new Macbook.

Selling my soul for an Apple.

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Filed under beauty, happiness is, modern life, morals, perfect love, random, story