Multi-Faith and Belief Chaplaincy, For All Faiths and None

Dawn at the Dock of the Bay

This week's blog post has been written by Head of Listening Service, Dr Nicola James.

Photograph of dawn over a body of water, with hills in the background.

Now is the time of our unlocking – or at least near to it. But here we are at dawn still on the dock of the bay watching the tide roll away and waiting for the morning sun when, as the song goes, ‘the ships roll in’.

Today I will give my mind a rest – sit on its shore rather than push into the water, enjoying the space between ‘noticing’ and ‘letting go’, a place where we sit deeper into receiving, and letting grace in, if she happens to be passing.

The art of reception is a slow one that requires laying our hearts a little open, tilting a bit into the morning sun. Some of you will have seen photos lately of ships as if suspended in the sky above the horizon. It’s a trick of the refracted light of course, but such bright spirited galleons are arresting. We need these piratical harbingers of Light - cracks in the everyday world where the good ghosts get in.

Sitting receptive at the water’s edge saves the mind’s searchlight from its ceaseless sweep across the waters. Let’s see what the dawn tide rolls in as we wait. I hear the birds, but mostly just now the wood pigeon – the coo of the everyday dove, a sound that’s followed me from inner city to outer cove. There she is, calling me back to myself again. And there too is an out-ofthe-blue owl who should be in bed by now. Like the piratical ship she’s out there where we would not expect her.

Richard Rohr writes about The Fullness of Time in his daily newsletter this week.* He says we are perpetually in the midst of all those who have ever lived and so by dint received by them. This global belief in the gathered presence of our ancestors of which we are all a part has its expression in many different cultures – Rohr says in the Catholic Church it is known as The Communion of Saints. In my experience as a Quaker and a therapist the despair comes when we feel a-part and a-lone, un-belonging, when we suppose ourselves far from this soul’s family of souls.

So, we need this sitting as we come home to the truth of our being made sufficiently if not wondrously. However piratical, strangely placed or according to the world’s terms, ill timed, we are received to the fullness in the sails of the soft time coming.


*Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations