Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Everything Speaks : Pocket Inventory : 4

Everything speaks. Everything speaks: of life, or death, or simultaneously of life and death. Everything tells us: there is a real choice to be made, with real consequences: choose life: choose what nurtures life in all its wonder and beauty: say ‘no’ to death – not literal death, for literal death is swallowed-up by life for those who choose life; but symbolic death, everything that diminishes the wonder and beauty of life.

I thought I’d do a pocket inventory, of the things I carry with me, the basics I take wherever I go, and ask: what do you speak to me?

These things are: my phone, my keys, my wallet, my watch...

My watch
I bought my watch on a trip to Dallas, Texas, doing some training with the Leadership Network. I love the broad leather strap; the brown face, which shimmers – sometimes golden, sometimes deep red – when it catches the sunlight, the ordinary transformed, hidden depths brought out by light; the muted grey of the chunky metal casing; the ticking of the second hand, inaudible by day, inescapable by night.

I wear my watch on my right wrist, something that causes people to assume that I write with my left hand; because, although I am right-handed with a pen, I am left-handed dominant, and find it easier to wrestle the pin into the hole, the strap into the band that holds it, with my left hand.

My watch speaks to me of the way in which I have been wired: that ‘who I am’ confounds people’s expectations of me – and that is a good thing – and speaks to remind me to be slow to form my own expectations of others.

The second hand speaks to me of the constant presence of God’s Spirit in my life, whether I am aware of that presence at any given moment or not.

The casing speaks to me of the call on my life to be a disciple who makes disciples, because it is a shape that prompts me to think of such things.

The face speaks to me of our being both quite ordinary and quite extraordinary: of the unassuming beauty of the ordinary; and of how that beauty is taken to another level when we reflect the light of God’s love.

The broad strap speaks to me of the quiet strength and dignity that belongs to those who stand in God’s love. There is a weight to it, and a protective quality. It reminds me of an archer’s arm-guard: and that speaks to me of 2 Samuel 22, especially verses 31-37: and of Psalm 127.

And as I put on my watch each morning, strapping it to my wrist, I am reminded that my times are in God’s hands, and that:

every hour [‘chronos’ time] is pregnant with possibilities for God’s kingdom to break in with transforming significance [‘kairos’ time]

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