Beauty for ashes

This has been an ugly week.

Nothing I can do from here will directly change that. And like many others, I feel wretched and exhausted.

Do I have anything to offer at all…

In the face of so much destruction – of life, of trust, of peace – I believe we need to recognise that this is our world. The one we have created.

By our actions and omissions. The consequences of speaking up and remaining silent. Holding for ourselves and giving away.

It starts with making sense of where we are now.

And owning our part in the story that is unfolding before our eyes.

This story has been there for a long time. But it’s taken a global pandemic and a myriad of actions in multiple places to show its face.

Our face. And it’s ugly.

But making sense of it is not enough. Analysis without change is even uglier.

Choosing beauty

Our choice starts with us. But it’s not about sackcloth and ashes. Given where we are right now that would deplete us even further.

Instead, we need to know that change comes one person at a time. You and me.

We have to become the change we want to see. Step by step.

Owning our ugliness and choosing beauty instead.

Because what comes from our soul shapes our whole.

So how can we feed our inner being for the tough choices we need to make to see beauty arise from the terrible ashes all around us?

Eugene Peterson expresses it well in The Message:

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.

Letter to the Philippians, in The Message

What I know from living here in the valley is that good water ultimately produces good growth. And noticing the natural beauty all around me gives me grace for myself and others; wisdom to judge what will produce long-term fruit and not division, and hope. Yes, hope.

Not that I am there yet – I’m still becoming…

What about you?

Where can you feed your soul with beauty, so that you become the change you want to see?

Thanks for reading.


This week

Grace, hope and wisdom have been my anchor points.