“being time”

I sit on my favourite rock, looking over the brook, to take some time away from busy-ness, time to be. I’ve long since stopped feeling guilty about taking being time; its something we all need for our spiritual health, and often we don’t take enough of it…

When I am constantly running there is no time for being. When there is no time for being there is no time for listening. I will never understand the silent dying of the green pie-apple tree if I do not slow down and listen to what the Spirit is telling me, telling me of the death of trees, the death of planets, of people, of what all these deaths mean in the light of love of the Creator who brought them all into being; who brought me into being, and you. This questioning of the meaning of being, and dying…is behind the telling of stories…it is part of the deepest longing of the human psyche, a recurrent ache in the hearts of all of God’s creatures.

I realized that the very vehemence of my reaction mean that perhaps I should, in fact, stop and listen. The Holy Spirit does not hesitate to use any method at hand to make a point to us reluctant creatures.

Plato spoke of the necessity for divine madness in the poet. It is a frightening thing to opn oneself to this strange and dark side of the divine; it means letting go of our sane self-control, that control which gives us the illusion of safety. But safety is only an illusion, and letting it go is part of listening to the silence, and to the Spirit. 

From [my reading of Coleridge] comes the phrase ‘the willing suspension of disbelief’, that ability to believe which is born firmly in all children, and which too often withers as we are taught that the world of faerie and imagination is not true.

Generally what is more important than getting water-tight answers is learning to ask the right questions.

But thinking about [Christian art] may open new questions, new insights. And as I listen to the silence, I learn that my feelings about art and my feelings about the Creator of the Universe are inseparable. To try to talk about art and about Christianity is for me one and the same thing, and it means attempting to share the meaning of my life, what gives it, for me, its tragedy and its glory.


– Walking on Water: Reflections on Art and Faith (Madeleine l’Engle)


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