We share food treasure.

‘Daily, ordinary spiritual experience.
These create sacred spaces …
Quiet current of sacredness’

Brian D McLaren. Naked Spirituality

image read, liquorice and things.

The pathways wind and twist through the mountains to Kinlochleven, dropping downwards to that long, narrow inlet of the sea. Along the pathways there are people, distanced and tiny. They walk on their own tracks, journeys beginning at the beginning, wending, threading in and out and around one another. Each pathway forms its own strand of moving and exploring.

Some are alone, making the pilgrimage of the individual.
Some are in companionship already.

Then … strand touches strand and relationship is born. Woven contact brings excitement and sharing.

There are the two girls from Glasgow. They appear every so often and share journey space.
They share their liquorice … lovely colours of allsorts, stripy sugar sandwiches, speckled colour bombs … long strands of sweetness.

The Lorry driver from The Netherlands shares his story. The pathways are alive with conversation. A father walks, his little daughter on his shoulders, the lightness of the shared burden.

All share complaining of sore feet.

Sandwiches are shared with each other … and the sheep.
So many others, little and distanced, now become close, entwined as friends.

Sharing, we are fed … by bread … by laughter … by liquorice … and thirst-quenched by clear water.

The strands separate, flowing and weaving once more, but each carries the imprint of another … an imprint of love and generosity.

Sometime, somewhere … will there be recognition and holy awareness … somewhere?


A Meeting on a Dusty Road

The pain wracked through his empty belly but he felt it most in his soul.

The stones clawed at his feet and the dust ground itself into the cuts the miles of walking had caused.  Each grain felt as if a sword had wounded him, as if a nail had pierced him, a thorn dug deep or strip of leather had cut into his skin.

He stopped and sat on a boulder at the side of the road, maybe this was all a mistake, this final lonely journey down this dusty road.

Maybe he should just turn right back around and head back to that foreign land, back to those pigs, back to what he had become.  His head fell into his hands, there were no more tears of either pain or self-pity, the only thing left was the dryness of despair and death.

He thought he could hear the tear of the clothes and the weeping that would have once greeted the news of his own death.  His thirst and hunger was playing tricks on him, for he was sure he could hear his name also, in an oh so familiar voice.

He looked up; and fell upon his knees, suddenly the tears did flow, as rushing towards him came not anger, not judgement, nor even disappointment, but un-bounding love.

There in that pool of tears and love each and every pain left him. Each grain of dust which had bitten deeply into his torn feet now reminded him not of the misery of the life he had left behind, but of the joy of the new one that was freely being offered.

The Coming

And God held in his hand
A small globe. Look, he said.
The son looked. Far off,
As through water, he saw
A scorched land of fierce
Colour. The light burned
There; crusted buildings
Cast their shadows; a bright
Serpent, a river
Uncoiled itself, radiant
With slime.
On a bare
Hill a bare tree saddened
the sky. Many people
Held out their thin arms
To it, as though waiting
For a vanished April
To return to its crossed
Boughs. The son watched
Them. Let me go there, he said.

Taken from RS Thomas, Collected Poems, 1945-1990


I came across a quotation from Julian of Norwich recently which reads:

If God were angry with us, even for a moment, then we would cease to exist.

In these stark days of Lent it is all too easy to dwell on the negative. Like today’s Old Testament reading from Exodus telling of the 10 Commandments. How often do we focus on the negative aspect – the what-not-to-dos?  When instead we should be thinking about what we can do, how we can keep the commandments. Like honouring God’s holy name; keeping the Sabbath holy; loving and honouring our parents; seeking to preserve and defend life; telling our loved ones that we do indeed love them; sharing what we have with the poor; defending the good name of anyone; putting ourselves out to help a neighbour.

Of course, God won’t love us any more. We don’t keep the commandments so that God will love us – we keep the commandments because God loves us.

There is only one law – the law of love.