iggandfriends

Life, crafty stuff, long walks, thoughts, and little oddities.


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The White Wolf and the Black Wolf

The story of the white wolf and the black wolf is, I’m told, an old Cherokee story. I’ve seen and heard various different versions. But in this time of unrest in the world, it gives us an important question. What wolf are we choosing to feed inside ourselves? Why don’t you read it and decide?

There was once an old and wise grandfather, who had a grandson he loved. Each day, the grandson would come and spend time with his grandfather, and talk to him about the events of the day. One day, the grandson came with a look of anger on his face. ‘Come’, said the grandfather, ‘sit and tell me about your day’. The child sat on the floor and leaned against his grandfather. Looking up at him, he said, ‘I went into the town today with father. He had promised me a present, as I had helped him so much recently. I was so happy and excited. I went into the trading post and there we found a small knife, just the right size for me. So father bought it for me.’ Here, the boy fell silent.

The grandfather placed his hand on the boys head, ‘Then what happened?’

The boy said ‘I took it outside to look at it. But some older boys saw me. They called me names, and teased me, and said I had no right to have the knife. Then one of them knocked me over, and another took my knife, and they ran away with it’. Here, the boy paused. Then, looking up at his grandfather he said ‘I hate them! I hate them!’

Grandfather sighed deeply and said, ‘I have also suffered. There have been people who have taken without asking, those who have called me names, who have fought and bullied. I have felt great hate. But hate hurts only you. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. In the end your own soul will die. I have struggled with this. It is as if there are two wolves inside me, a white one and a black one. The white one lives in peace with those around him, and does not take offense where none was intended. It looks for good and not evil, it welcomes, not rejects. It only fights when it is right, and only in the right way. But the black wolf is full of anger and hatred. He is focused only one himself and his wants. Anything that is against his will sends him into anger. He fights everyone, all the time. He looks for the negative, not the positive. He cannot think because his anger and hatred are so great. It is anger that destroys himself. Sometimes it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both try to rule my life.’

The boy looked up into his grandfather’s eyes. ‘Which one wins, Grandfather?’

The Grandfather smiled and said ‘The one I choose to feed’.

Galatians 5:19-25

 


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Merry Christmas! Nadolig Llawen!

Angel whispers

Brush the mind

Strange promises

Full of hope

Waiting

The world holds its breath

Until the creator is birthed

Not to cheering crowds and waiting press

Not in explosions of light and sound

But in the night

Hidden away

The darkness hours

Are lit by light eternal

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For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

A blessed and happy Christmas to you all.


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Angels wings

I wake with a mind full of angels

Of white feathers and halos

And of more.

Swords and fire

Fierce love.

Messages from heaven

Protection.

Adoration.

I rise, mind still buzzing

Glance out the window

Watch in wonder

As three swans gracefully swim past

Floating serenely on the sea

White feathers gleaming in the sunlight

Heads dipping in among the waves

This year’s cygnet protected

With a fierce love

I watch and wonder

What message God will send

By his angels

This Michaelmas tide.

swans at michaelmas

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.  Psalm 91:11


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Pathway to the Sun

Setting sun traces a path across the beach

Reflections in rippled water point the way

Into the darkness ahead.

The brightness will soon fade

Leaving blackness of night sky

Stars hidden behind clouds.

I will walk for a while

In the dark with him

Watching and waiting

Making ready

To greet the rising Sun

path into the sun

Mark 14:32ff….watching and praying…


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Uphill climb

One step forward and two back. An old adage, but that’s what life sometimes feels like. Strolling on the beach is great, but then something will occur – not anything major; perhaps a change of mood or a change in the weather, destructive thoughts, careless words – and suddenly I’m climbing up a steep cliff, hanging grimly on as the slope seems to shift and move around me. Often the beginning of the struggle is indiscernible. Where did the scramble start? This is a questioning time in my life. While I am sure that God wants me here, in this time, in this place, often it would be have been easier to stay in my previous existence. Safe, secure, just getting on with life. Sure of what I’m meant to be doing and why.

Pausing is dangerous. It makes you think. And pray. And deal with issues you might not want to tackle. And pray again. How do you let go of the previous situation, how do you relinquish all the work you’ve put in? How do you stop? How do you be? And when all the labels, all the layers are stripped away, who is left underneath them? At times there is a deafening silence. I find myself reminded of Elijah in the Old Testament, who after wind and storm hears the still voice of God in that very silence. At times the only answer is an inward knowledge and calm that I am loved, wanted and adored by God. That the labels pinned on me by myself and society are actually not of any value to him. He has no need of them. It doesn’t stop the questioning, the thinking, the process of relearning to live. But it is there as a steady assurance. I am his and he is mine and that is all.

I saw this piece of driftwood on the beach today. I haven’t moved it into position. This is how I found it. Climbing the slope to the top. It reminded me that in my struggles, he is there with me. He has climbed this cliff as well, and now he climbs it again, with me.Climbing cross

Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. I Kings 19:9ff

 

 


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Stars and lights

Outside the darkness has closed in. The stars arc above us, shining out in the bowl of the sky. Bright lights in the black. Inside the preparations for the feast are underway. Christmas decorations nestle down in their box, tucked up for another year. The crib sits in centre place, the wise men moving closer with each day. Tomorrow they will arrive, ready to worship. A pleasant hour spent painting a new mug for Epiphany. It sits, pride of place, on the kitchen worktop, ready for the Christening. The chalk is ready and waiting to bless the house, and the star-lights are strung out. Tomorrow, all shall be revealed.

epiphany mug

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his host! Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars! Psalm 148:3

If you want to know more about celebrating Epiphany, please see my other blog here.


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Sunflowers and waiting

A bitter north wind blows around the house. Banging at windows and doors as though to seek entry. The fire in the hearth fights back defiantly, spitting up the chimney. I sit barricaded against the cold, quilt thrown over me. Hands occupied with stitching, the picture slowly forms.

A sunflower for a friend, cheery colours in the winter dusk. My mind wanders back to the summer. Sunflowers nodding their heads in the garden. Planted as part of Good Friday meditations, they took until late August to come into bloom. A period of waiting, of expectation. Of watering, care, nurture. Finally the buds were seen. They slowly opened out, blossoming in the heat. Following the sun with their faces.

Hands occupied with stitching, the picture slowly forms. Seeds planted. I wait for the coming of spring, for the blossoming. For the harvest.

cathedral sunflower

‘For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you hope, and a future.’ Jeremiah 29:11