Words of Light and Hope from Rev’d Judith Sweetman
Visiting Burgh next Aylsham church and churchyard recently, I came across an interesting, fairly modern, gravestone commemorating someone who had been an artist. On the front, above the name, was small drawing of an artist’s palette and brushes. On the reverse, taking up much of the stone, were these words:
“The wonder of the world
The beauty and the power
The shape of things
Their colour, lights and shades
These I saw
Look ye also while life lasts “
Reflecting on these words later, I thought how each line, in its own right, could be used as a meditation, a prayer, a way to focus on, appreciate, and give thanks to God for the creation about us.
- The wonder, magnificence, awe and mystery of our world and universe…
- The beauty and power of nature’s forces unleashed: wind, waves, fire…
- Shapes: the intricate patterns of snowflakes, the uniqueness of each face…
- The colour, lights and shades: leaves in sunlight, sunrise, sunset, clouds…
You would have your own thoughts or memories, payers or praise, prompted by each of these lines.
Most important of all, though, is the last line, with its passionate, urgent, persuasive plea to us: “Look ye also while life lasts”
This is a plea we should not ignore – a plea that we take not for granted all we have been given, all we can see, touch, feel, smell, taste, hear, through our God-given senses.
Whether our lives are short or long, whether we are young or old, whether we are able to get out and about or only enjoy nature through a window or by means of a television or radio programme, all these things are given to us, are there for our enjoyment, refreshment, renewal and delight. They open our eyes in contemplation to the beauty of our God and the beauty of God’s creation.
Jesus came to bring us life, life in all its abundance.
When our time comes, will you, will I, be able to rejoice, as this artist did, and say, with the same overflowing heart of thankfulness and astonishment, “These I saw.”?