Yesterday's highlight was watching a peregrine falcon sitting on the the ledge above the church windows. I watched it for about ten minutes, before it flew away. The pigeons were staying at home, staying safe. It was beautiful, still, waiting. I have seen a falcon in the churchyard once before, early in the morning when we slept out in aid of the Robes project. But I've never seen one so close in the middle of the day. Lindy tells us that a falcon is a good omen. I hope so!
Thank you for your responses to yesterday's email. I have a strong sense at the moment that it is really important not to try to be super-human at this time - indeed, at any time, but more particularly when we are all in an unknown situation. It is important to recognise our limitations and to acknowledge them to those around us. We are all finite and we are facing unknown challenges, and perhaps at these times we feel more vulnerable than usual. It helps us to respond if we are able to draw on the mutual aid and support which is so much around at present - and I am really grateful for all the careful thought and generosity which I am seeing and experiencing.
I am also very conscious that, although finite, we are connected to the infinite, and somehow our souls can be enlarged even as our bodies are confined. There is space in the silence, and an openness in being closed. The falcon made me think of that - peregrines are extraordinary and swift fliers who can touch the sky and swoop to earth, and these moments, like moments of prayer and reflection, open the doors to the things beyond us.
The Rule of Life evening at 6pm today will help with that. If you didn't get Nicola's email with the zoom login details and password, please let me know.
In the same way, I am encouraged by the way in which the Bridge at Waterloo trustees and our staff team are responding to this new world. We are thinking hard about how we can continue to support people in need - not just through our employment training work but through offering resilience and mentoring support and care, especially for vulnerable young and/or homeless people with mental health or other challenges. Plans are emerging, and if you have ideas about how we or you could contribute, do please let me know.
Chris Clarke reminded me, yesterday, of Psalm 130, which speaks absolutely into the darkness of those wakeful hours in the night: it speaks of the moments when the infinite meets the finite, when God touches earth, when we are lifted up on falcon's wings...
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications!
If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is great power to redeem.
It is he who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.
May you have a rich and reflective day,