This is not just about being nice to ourselves – warm baths, movies and chocolate – though there is definitely a place for these – it about having the courage to find places of stillness even in the midst of distraction and busyness in which to come home to ourselves and find the stillness for which our soul longs.
Yesterday after much infant drama, there was a moment when all the babies fell quiet. We were out in the park, beneath the ancient fig trees, and I was pushing a pram around and around in figure eight to keep a baby asleep. After a while I realized I was effectively engaged in walking meditation, and I entered into that space for a while. As I did so I became increasingly aware of all that was around me- the magpie caroling, the breeze softly stirring the leaves the cries of the children in the park. Inwardly I was still, even though my feet continued to move. And that inward stillness enabled me to focus outward, seeing beyond myself, and pointing me towards God. For as Anthony Bloom wrote, ‘when stillness has brought us into the presence of God, there is another sort of silence, much more absolute, that intervenes.’
When we come together as we do tonight we have a precious opportunity to help each other to rest; to enter into that deeper stillness of mind, body and heart in which God is to be found. So, let us enter into our time of silence, recognizing as John O’Donohue wrote, that ‘nothing can happen without a certain stillness. So, I will be still and let the earth be still with me and in that stillness find the peace of God that dwells within my heart.’ Amen.
Penny Jones for Sanctus @MiltonAnglican, Saturday 31 August 2019