Rev'd Robyn Boyd(Locum)
Rev’s Robyn’s Reflection: Calling to Mind
I’ve been rearranging a photo wall at home. This particular wall isn’t for family photos – they’re elsewhere in the house. This wall, as I’ve begun to place things and rummage through photos, has become a “Bethel” Wall - “The Lord is in this place and I didn’t know it” (remember our Genesis – Jacob reading of a couple of weeks ago?).
These are places with significant memories, and as I look back, indeed God was there all the time. There’s a photo of the small harbour rock pool at Northbridge (Sydney), where I grew up – my mother used to take us kids there all the time; I learned to swim there. That’s where we spread Mum’s ashes over the water last year. That little shark-proof pool conjures up fond memories of a good childhood – my parents may not have been church goers, but they set foundations for me to live life wholesomely, and to seek and find faith. Then there’s the ruins of Lindisfarne Priory and the haunting vaulted cellarium of Fountains Abbey (both in NE England) – there, for me, a sense of being steeped in the ancient monastic rhythms of prayer that still saturates those holy settings.
I have a hard task ahead of me as I select about three more pictures to frame and hang.
Our Psalm (105) this week starts “O give thanks to the Lord and call upon his name: tell among the peoples what things he haas done”, and continues to “call to mind” the deeds of the ancestors of faith: Abraham, Jacob and Joseph. You may know the saying, “while life is lived forward, it is understood backward”. I recognise that in this new phase of my life – retirement- I am calling to mind what has shaped me spiritually; where I have found Life. We may at times touch into where we have encountered darkness, and where it may have been a battle to follow the light. But notice how the Psalmist, in remembering the days of old, doesn’t call up Jacob the scoundrel or bemoan the dastardly deeds and events; there’s a remembering that sings praises to an ever-working God who brings us through. An ever-working God who brings together past, present and future, and makes something wonderful of it and of us.
I don’t know what other images will end up on my wall. Neither do I know what memories will be evoked as I sift through my photos. But already I know I am discovering in new ways, this God who has been present in the places of my life, unbeknown to me. I’m not afraid of stumbling across the darker places, because God was there, too, and has worked “all things together for good”. Perhaps in these confining days, you too, may be burrowing through the memories of old. Sing with the Psalmist: “Seek the Lord and his strength: O seek his face continually. Call to mind what wonders he has done.”
And the Lord be with you.