FROM THE HEART
by Rachel Inglis
posted 16 February 2016
In the book of daily prayers I use currently 1, there is a wonderful line about the coming day as a “gateway onto what has never been before.”
Sometimes my eyes just skip over that phrase, and my mind barely registers it. Other times, I’m arrested by it, and my heart is suddenly engaged with the wonder of the freshness and never-before-experiencedness of the coming day. It offers enticing opportunities of renewal and new gift.
We are at the start of Lent and - I don’t know about you - but I find it very easy to lose sight of the fact that this is a new, never-before-experienced Lent, one during which I can encounter and be surprised by God in infinite new ways.
One of my annual Lenten readings is ‘the heart’s time’ by Janet Morley 2. It’s a book that was recommended to me a few years’ ago, and I heartily recommend it on to you. It’s a poem a day for Lent through to Easter, followed by a short reflection by the author.
Today’s poem really grabbed me. It is a love poem entitled ‘Late have I loved you’ by St Augustine, which first appeared in his Confessions. I must have read it last year, but I don’t recall being so caught up by it.
At the end of the reflection, we’re invited to write our own ‘love letter’ to God. Usually that kind of invitation makes me curl up inside, and hastily turn the page. But this time I stopped and decided to accept the invitation, which felt more like a challenge initially.
Much to my surprise I found it easy, and the challenge was more about when to stop. I found it cathartic and insightful, in that it showed me what I felt was precious about God’s relationship with me and which I might not have articulated in another way.
And so, I extend the invitation to you. Write your own love letter to God, and surprise yourself by what emerges.
1 John Philip Newell. 2011. ‘Praying with the Earth: A Prayerbook for Peace’. Canterbury Press. ISBN 978-1-84825-049-9
2 Janet Morley. 2011. ‘the heart’s time’. SPCK. ISBN 978-0-281-06372-7