Shining in the gloom

I awoke this morning with a line of a hymn in my head: “Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.”  Usually when this happens, I am struggling to think if the first line of the hymn, but not with this one.  There is no need for a Google search with any line from “Abide with me.”

Thinking back during this week of blogs, a week during which I have conducted two funerals, and with three coming next week, my reaching for the words and images of resurrection and hope are sitting happily at the forefront of my mind.  In Poole crematorium last Wednesday, I walked in to find it full of flowers.  On every shelf there were vases; there were memorial wreaths at the base of lectern, Cross, and catafalque.  The scent of lilies and roses was in the air.  Families are leaving the flowers here as during the lockdown they cannot be delivered to care homes and hospitals.

As to the blogs: a single snowdrop in the autumn grass, a handful of seed with the potential to grow a meadow or a forest, Margery Kempe kneeling where we can still kneel in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, the gift of time in the midst of busyness; St Martin slicing his cloak in two to give to the beggar in the street; and last night, I was wondering about the splash of yellow on Church Hill which is the rectory wall’s winter jasmine that will shine in the rain and wind and not be deterred from flowering for the next few weeks. Yes, it’s a good line to wake with, “Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies”.  St Paul taught us about resurrection in his great fifteenth chapter of 1st Corinthians, but it was Christ who is leading us his way.  His life is our life and his presence is our hope.

John Mann