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Where does the time go?!

Posted on May 16th, 2012

I just logged onto WordPress and realised that I haven’t blogged since 29th April!  Shameful!

In my defence, life has been incredibly hectic recently.  I haven’t had a day to just relax and BE since the last post, which has been all a bit tiring!  But on the upside, lots of exciting things are happening – I’ve been asked to go and give a concert in Enfield, Middlesex to commemorate a church’s centenary which is a real honour and things are all sorted for the concert in Bristol on 28th July at the beautiful St. James Priory – Bristol’s oldest building, founded in 1129.  As ever, watch this space – and particularly, check out my Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kathryn-Crosweller/204891109530550

So this evening I was driving home listening to some worship music (not my usual style but we have a worship band in tomorrow lunchtime for Christian Union so I thought I’d get in the mood!), and was happily singing along to ‘How Great is Our God’ by the wonderful Chris Tomlin.  The sun was shining, the road was clear; all was well with the world!  Then I looked up as I drove through a village and saw two birds (possibly crows?!  Not my forte…) sitting in a tree.  I was filled with an overwhelming feeling of the greatness of creation and my own insignificance within it.  It’s not the sort of feeling you can really put into words, and not one I have experienced very often, but it was really special.

The philosophical arguments for the existence of God include arguments about creation proving God’s existence.  I’m not massively convinced by either but I think that this evening, driving through The Deverills in Wiltshire, I understood for the first time something of what Aquinas, Paley and the like were talking about.  Creation is so magnificent that sometimes it’s just right to see God acting through it.

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Empathy and the human condition…

Posted on March 26th, 2012

I don’t know how I managed to come across this video today but I did, and boy am I happy that I did!!  It is incredible!  I’ve seen a few of these animations before and the ones I’ve seen have all been worthwhile.  This one is particularly thought-provoking.

There are two things which I found fascinating about this. Firstly, that empathy is integral to human beings.  I suppose a lot of it is common sense (especially about babies crying when they hear other babies cry) but it was amazing to hear all the points in one place.  I’ve been in situations before where someone has been upset and has been crying, and I’ve found it hard not to cry, too.  I’m sure you’ve experienced something similar.  What an amazing thing to know that we are all connected through our ability to empathise.  I just kept thinking of the number of times I’ve said ‘we are one body’ during Communion services.

The other thing I found amazing is that it is possible that Adam and Eve might have existed!  I’m not sure on the science behind the claim, and I’m sure that it will be contradicted in many other sources, but what an interesting thought!  I’ve always considered myself to be a theistic evolutionist really – after all, why couldn’t God make the world in the way that science says?  They’re certainly not mutually exclusive in my mind!

If someone managed to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that all human beings came from one man and one woman, I wonder what change would come over the world!!

But for now, here is one of my favourites.  It seems very apt for this post!

Saint Francis’ Canticle of All Creatures

Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord,
All praise is Yours, all glory, all honour and all blessings.
To you alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your Name.

Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour,
Of You Most High, he bears the likeness.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
In the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
And fair and stormy, all weather’s moods,
by which You cherish all that You have made.

Praised be You my Lord through Sister Water,
So useful, humble, precious and pure.

Praised be You my Lord through Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night
and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.

Praised be You my Lord through our Sister,
Mother Earth who sustains and governs us,
producing varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs.
Praise be You my Lord through those who grant pardon
for love of You and bear sickness and trial.
Blessed are those who endure in peace,
By You Most High, they will be crowned.

Praised be You, my Lord through Sister Death,
from whom no-one living can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
Blessed are they She finds doing Your Will.
No second death can do them harm.

Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks,
And serve Him with great humility.

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Looking at the world with fresh eyes…

Posted on March 19th, 2012

I went to Bristol today on a school trip and had a very interesting conversation with a colleague.  She was noticing things which I had ceased to see – the way birds were making their nests, deer in a forest (I was sad I didn’t see that!), the size of different houses as we drove past…and I was astonished about how unobservant I have become.  When I voiced this to her, she told me that this was the first spring she has seen in England for 8 years, having been in Africa with Mercyships.

This made me reflect on how much we take for granted, and this evening I went for a long walk in the countryside.  I noticed the way that the trees were growing, the way that leaves lie on the ground, the sound that the birds were making and the feeling of being part of this beautiful, incredible creation.  I took a photo of the sunset, just to remind me of that feeling.

Can we appreciate things every day, in every moment?  Or do we need to become numb to them so that we can discover them again in joy?  I suppose that is the same question as ‘if there was no suffering, could we enjoy happiness?’ and other variants on that theme.  Perhaps we can come to a point where we derive joy from everything we encounter, seeing the presence of God in the world and rejoicing in it.

Here is a video I was shown recently which is truly incredible.  This is part 3 of 5, but all of them are breathtaking.  I was left speechless by the beauty of the universe, and I hope that you will be, too –Louie Giglio, ‘Indescribable’

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