Posted in prayer, reflection

LENT – 40 ACTS – ACT3

LENT – 40 ACTS – ACT 3

Now here’s a thing, for most of my life I have believed we are here to help one another however and whenever we can, and yet I have never really put this belief into action in a controlled and co-ordinated way, relying instead on performing spontaneous and random acts of kindness. And so, for Lent this year, rather than giving up something to benefit myself, I thought I would be more proactive and help others less fortunate than myself.

After a bit of research, I came across this 40 Acts website and after clicking around it and reading some personal stories I knew this would be right for me.

Basically, each day for the 40 days of Lent, there is an act to perform, each act has a red, amber and green traffic light at the end for you to choose how to respond. Of course you can choose to not respond, which kind of defeats the point; however, we are all human.

So here we are on day three and I have chosen to respond to this act with all options, so strongly do I feel about todays topic: Period Poverty.

You can read more about this eye-opening subject from the above link and from these links:

Channel 4 – Period Poverty is Real

Metro – How To Donate Sanitary Products To Women In The UK Who Can’t Afford Them

If you would like to join in today, brilliant, if you would like to take the 40 days challenge, even better. I pray Jesus inspires you as he has countless millions before us.

Posted in prayer, reflection

This Cloud In Me

THIS CLOUD IN ME

by

Kelvin M. Knight

If You were a cloud, what kind of cloud would You be? 

A minnow swimming purposefully across this sea in Your sky, maybe?

Perhaps a dolphin, silky smooth, gliding through this greyness then dancing in and out of these crests of Your cloudy waves?

Or an angel’s wing stretching across this horizon, Your sun glistening ‘Good morning,’ and ‘Good evening,’ as heavenly songs grace my ears.

Songs which rise up this mountain range of clouds that stretches further than my naked eye can see. Clouds rising from the ground into the sea.

You are all these clouds and more. You are the one cloud that can stop me: no matter how busy or preoccupied I am. That one cloud which always makes me gasp aloud in wonder before reaching for my spiritual quiver and loosing an arrow prayer from my heart to Yours.

Thank you for being all I need, Father, all we ever truly need. In you and in each other. Amen.

Posted in articles, prayer, reflection

This Morning’s Journey

THIS MORNING’S JOURNEY

by

Kelvin M. Knight

In the mornings

revving to go.

Minds full of ideas

bodies full of fuel.

Go, go, go!

 

Soulful birdsong ignored

inside gardens

outside hedgerows;

empty songs filling

these swollen headphones.

 

Cars racing along narrow lanes

headlights bouncing over sleeping policemen

wheels screaming, ‘Are we there yet?’

 

Newspaper-gazing pedestrians

phones juggling from ear to ear.

Pushbikes weaving

thread after thread

of their own:

legs pumping

fists jumping

modern tapestries

unknown.

 

Then

fresh on this pavement

a snail’s tyre track.


400-17b A Snail's Tyre Track.JPG


Then

another snail

another tyre track

again and again

until I see.

 

I see their stillness becoming mine;

I feel this silence infiltrating me.

 

This silence

this stillness

I fear

because I am

I am

a human doing

not a human being

doing always doing

rather than being

just being

really being.

Here.

Now.

 

Now

in this silence.

Now

in this stillness

lost and found

in this here and now.

Found and lost

in this presence.

 

A presence abiding in love.

A love abiding in us

in all of us

in me.

 

Even me.

 

This silence

this stillness

this love

this God-given purpose

burning tyre tracks

inside me.

 

(186 words)

Posted in prayer

Cement In Our Lives

At church yesterday, this question was posed, “Is Jesus the cornerstone of our lives?”

We were asked to consider those things we could not do without in our lives, then pounced on by a microphone wielding vicar. The words she gathered were written on shoeboxes which were stacked into a column at the front of the church.

There was: friendship, food, health, home, humour, music, authenticity to name a few.

The point to this audience participation, replete with visual aid, was this: when all these earthly essentials are stripped away, Jesus is our cornerstone, our foundation, the bedrock of our faith. It is easy saying this, sat here in the warmth and comfort of my home, and the security of the place I live. However, the true test of faith is in the doing, in adversity, as Jesus showed us. When we are oppressed, when we are persecuted, when we are being tortured, when we are seriously ill, when our voice is being taken away from us, when we feel there is nothing left, there is always Jesus. This is when we truly realise He is our cornerstone, and through Him all things are possible. How comforting it is, though, to know this, to truly appreciate this fact, in our everyday lives, every second, of every day, rather than waiting, and often dreading, adversity to strike?

When I prayed as I woke, about whether I should or should not attend church this Sunday morning, this prayer came to me. I hope you do not mind me sharing it with you?


🙏🏻

Thank you for today.

Help me to see the rain through this pain

your life-giving

your life sustaining rain.

When my faith is all I have left

you remind me that is all I need

when I offer the gift of love to myself and others

your unconditional love for me

for everyone.

Which is easier said than done, Lord.

Words must be supported and encouraged by actions.

Words and actions which teach me about myself

and lead me closer to you in thought, prayer and deed.

Heavenly Father

All the things I feel are missing in my life

all my gifts that I feel are stagnating

help me to offer them to others today and everyday:

those people I know;

those people I think I know;

those people I do not want to know;

but, most importantly, those people in distress and despair

whom I will never know unless I make an effort to get to know them first.

And thank you for reminding me that

knowing comes from listening

really listening

actively listening

while accepting and being non judgemental.

Only you judge, your son told us this, He came to save.

Help us to save ourselves and others through your never ending love.

Amen


This should I or should I not go to church prayer shows wonderful synchronicity, reveals God’s grace to me, which intensified in the Sunday morning service’s intercessions (which were a different style than I had ever heard before at this church) when the following prayers were offered:

One by Saint Teresa of Avila:


🙏

Christ has no body now on earth but yours

no hands but yours

no feet but yours.

Yours are the eyes through which

to look out on Christ’s compassion to the world.

Yours are the feet

with which he is to go about doing good

Yours are the hands

with which he is to bless people now.


And one by Michel Quoist (repeated here courtesy of GoodReads):


Quoist - The Brick.jpeg


The moment this brick prayer was offered, these words appeared in my prayerful state:

Yes, we are all a brick. We are all important, from the high flying to the low lying, and we are all equal. We are all a brick, we are all equal to the next brick, our neighbouring brick, those beside us, those above us, and those below us. And down, down, down into the depths, into the darkness and the dampness, Jesus is our cornerstone. And this sand, cement and water, this mortar, joining us together, keeping us all connected, giving us the strength to stand upright, to stand tall, to stop us from falling apart, is the Holy Spirit.

Amen.


Bible Passages referencing Jesus as our Cornerstone:

Job 38:6, Psalm 118:22, Isaiah 19:13, Isaiah 28:16, Jeremiah 51:26, Zechariah 10:4, Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10, Luke 20:17, Acts 4:11, Ephesians 2:20, 1 Peter 2:6 and 1 Peter 2:7.

Posted in flash fiction, prayer

Thy Will Be Done

I was celebrating advent in church yesterday, when this picture presented itself to me. Thankfully after the service! During tea and biscuits, I showed this picture to an elderly member of the congregation who I’d listened to during Eucharist who was feeling low due to losing her lifelong partner earlier in the year. It cheered her immensely, which cheered me. Funny how that works, isn’t it? Anyway, I knew there was a story in this picture, I was unsure how it would reveal itself, until I started writing whereupon this story emerged. It is part of my Thy series stories (Thy Vicar, Thyself, Thy Kingdom Come) and also loosely linked to my flash fiction piece Flushed Faith which got a stronger reaction that I thought.

I hope you enjoy this story.

Faithfully

Kelvin


THY WILL BE DONE – Kelvin M. Knight

‘If we all turned our thinking on its head, if we all turned ourselves inside out, we might think the same. The same as we were meant to. There is nothing wrong with sameness; we are all equal. We are all special.’

Special? With my mind reeling, I steady myself by staring at the pillar. That pillar which supports this church. That pillar which has supported this church for nine hundred and ninety-nine years, exactly.

The worship this pillar must have heard, the untamed praise it must have seen, the heavenly glory it must have felt. Such holiness. Such spirituality. That’s true support. That’s true encouragement: not those pulpit’s mangled words. Church is meant to give meaning to life. Christianity is supposed to mean life. Faith isn’t meant to confuse and disorientate my life!

Multicoloured lights appear on the pillar. Dancing over the sandstone, they say nothing. Their silence speaks volumes. Watching them through narrowed eyes, I contemplate the words they might say, if they were to sink into the sandstone, if they were to turn this pillar into an enormous stick of rock. Enormous for me: not for God. The words these multicoloured lights might form inside the pillar intrigue me. Wondering what on earth they could be, I reach out and touch said pillar, whereupon I realise I should be pondering what in heaven’s name the words are: which chapter and verse of God’s word they might contain.

Words which go round and around. Words that have no beginning and no end. The same way Jesus’ end is our beginning, and our end is his beginning.

I want to wrap my arms around this sandstone, hug these invisible words as I need to hug Jesus, as I try to hug him when we pray, but those pulpit’s words don’t stir me; the intercessions those speakers say they are praying, praying, praying don’t lead me in prayer, they just mislead me and leave me feeling cold. Colder than this sandstone. Colder than that hand touching mine.

‘Christine, would you like to offer a special prayer with me for advent?’

Leaning forward, all pristine whiteness with goody, goody golden braid, our vicar glances at me, then she smiles at my mother. She ignores my father. It’s as though he does not exist, as though he has never existed. So, moving close to him, I ignore her, saying belligerently:

‘Amen.’

(400 words)


AN ADVENT PRAYER

🙏🏻 Lord Jesus

Thank you for this special time of year.

Free us from the commercial trappings of Christmas and fill our lives with true joy this advent.

A joy for life.

This joy of being alive.

A joy in each other.

This joy of loving one another.

Joyfulness in our words.

Joyfulness in our hearts.

Joyfulness in our actions.

Joyfulness in our prayers.

Joyfulness in your churches.

Joyfulness everywhere you would tread with us.

Amen.