For the few days I have watched what looks like snow drifting past my windows, as a nearby white cherry tree sheds its blossom. And each day, I have found that the falling blossom calls forth a response from me.

 

As I watch the blossom blowing down from ‘my’ cherry tree, I am aware each time that I have a choice about how I respond. I am aware that I can see the positive or the negative, and I am reminded that I have that same choice for any situation that I can think of. For example, as I see the blossom falling I can be disappointed that the tree is really only in full blossom for about a week. Or I can reflect that part of why I treasure it, part of its power to lift my spirits, is that its beauty is special partly because it is so short lived.

 

I am also aware that I can choose whether I look near or far, whether I see only what is close or allow it to lead my thoughts to a wider perspective. For example, I can focus just on this one cherry tree, or I can allow it to remind me of all the other beautiful trees I know, or have known. I can be frustrated that in our current situation I am unable to visit the many favourite places that bring me a sense of well-being, or I can feel blessed that such places still exist, and are still uplifting, even though at present I cannot visit them. In short, the drifting blossom from one cherry tree can bring me joy or frustration; it can remain only falling blossom or it can symbolise my relationship with many other things, and I can choose!

 

Jesus was well known as a powerful story-teller. Some of his parables, such as the Parable of the Good Samaritan, have become among the best known stories of all time. When Jesus was telling his parables he chose the everyday sights and sounds that would have been familiar to his hearers. Yet always his parables invited his hearers to enter into the story and, if they were willing, to allow the sights and sounds of the parables to lead them to new meanings and new understandings. And such is their power, that for two thousand years people have continued to discuss what the parables mean, and have found that they speak meaning into cultures and circumstances very different from those Jesus knew.

 

  • What pictures or objects are able to ‘speak’ meaning for you?

  • What have you learned to treasure in a new way during our national lockdown?

 

Prayer for the week - 8th May 2020

 

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