"Three Greys" by Yuko Shiraishi
Wendy Beckett closes this week of reflection with a thought to Silence and time. A quick glance at the Three Greys and we might walk away, thinking it drab and over-regulated. A slower glance, and the painting reveals an infinitude of subtle hues and shifting verticals. Its beauty, like so much else we see, reveals itself only in time. It does not fight it or waste it, it refuses to run after it. Silence floats free with time, letting the patterns of the moments unfold at its own pace. It is a way of becoming free, not only for the practical advantage of being able to 'see' the beauty in what is grey, for example, but at a far deeper level. In silence we break the hold time has on us, and accept in practice that our true home is in eternity.
Two more pieces from poet-farmer Wendell Berry to get us to slow down and ponder the subject...
Eternity is not infinity.
It is not a long time.
It does not begin at the end of time.
It does not run parallel to time.
In its entirety it always was.
In its entirety it will always be.
It is entirely present always.
- From Leavings, by Wendell Berry
and this one from his novel, Jayber Crow
“But love, sooner or later, forces us out of time. It does not accept that limit. Of all that we feel and do, all the virtues and all the sins, love alone crowds us at last over the edge of the world. For love is always more than a little strange here. It is not explainable or even justifiable. It is itself the justifier. We do not make it. If it did not happen to us, we could not imagine it. It includes the world and time as a pregnant woman includes her child whose wrongs she will suffer and forgive. It is in the world but is not altogether of it. It is of eternity. It takes us there when it most holds us here.”
I believe, help me in my unbelief! Help me to remember that it is good to wait for you. As the prophet wrote in Lamentations, "It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord" (3:26).
As I wait, help me to remember and dwell on the salvation you've provided for me through Christ. Help me to remember that the same grace that saved me at the cross is the same grace that sustains me today. And that same grace is at work in me even now, shaping me into the image of your Son.
And no matter what happens, no matter my current circumstances, I am safe in the shelter of your wings. There is nothing that can separate me from your love. Nothing and no one can snatch me from your hands.
Grant me the joy that comes from knowing you and being known by you. Fill my heart with gospel joy. Strengthen me by your word. May the words of the Psalmist be true of me, "I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope" (Psalm 130:5).
Help me to remain faithful in this place of waiting. Help me to serve you and live for you even in this crossroad of my life. Help me to wait as long as it takes, by helping me to see the beauty and the truth, the mystery of the present pregnant moment. Your Kingdom come
I pray all these things because of Jesus and in his name,