Living so close to Cambridge and yet being surrounded by the countryside is a privilege that we can sometimes take for granted. Perhaps this is why myself, Becca and others often write about the natural world when we produce a reflection for this magazine. As I sit writing this, the sun is coming up and blazing through our window. I’ve got things on my mind though: a church service to plan, household jobs to do, things to put in the loft, which I spent all day in yesterday tidying. What help is a sunrise in getting those things done?
Time to crack on! The other evening my nephew said, ‘Will you lie on the grass with me as I like to watch the stars?’ Nothing like a young, fresh and enquiring mind to stop you in your tracks! However, one’s world can be busy and imposing enough without needing to be reminded of just how insignificant it and we are by staring the vastness of space in the eye and seeing it stare us down, timelessly. And yet, my nephew had none of those feelings. He was happy with his place in the cosmos, at ease with its infinite nature and comforted by knowing that. There are times when the world can catch us off guard, even in the midst of our rushing, extending an invitation to realise again just how extraordinary a place it is. Such times, if we accept them and give time to them, can be thin times; times when we connect with something beyond our own preoccupations.
The Christian tradition would call such moments God given, when the world gives us pause to consider it and its creator: To see stars with young eyes. It may be that the natural world doesn’t appeal; perhaps it’s music, art, food, and so on, that lift your spirits, suggesting that there is a beauty at work in the universe that wants to be known. Not something that makes all things easy, but that, perhaps, causes us to glimpse that we are not alone. May we acknowledge the thin spaces in our lives and allow ourselves to breathe them in this month.
Corin Redsell Associate Minister, Lordsbridge Team