I have had an earworm ever since writing last week’s blog when I referred to the song “When the lights go on again all over the world” which was performed towards the end of the BBC1 celebration concert on VE Day. OK, I admit I have exacerbated it by listening to it again several times on iPlayer, but when we find a good song, don’t we all do that? That’s why the replay song button was introduced on our portable cassette players back in the 1980s!
And then I picked up my book of Malcolm Guite’s poetry again with which I started off this weekly blog on 19th March, “Thank God for Carers”, who are now quite rightly receiving much more attention and support in our national headlines.
I found another poem by Malcolm Guite in the same book, inspired by John’s Gospel, Chapter 8, verse 12 where Jesus says “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”.
I AM the Light of the World
I see your world in light that shines behind me,
Lit by a sun whose rays I cannot see,
The smallest gleam of light still seems to find me
Or find the child who’s hiding deep inside me.
I see your light reflected in the water,
Or kindled suddenly in someone’s eyes,
It shimmers through the living leaves of summer,
Or spills from silver veins in leaden skies,
It gathers in the candles at our vespers
It concentrates in tiny drops of dew
At times it sings for joy, at times it whispers,
But all the time it calls me back to you.
I follow you upstream through this dark night
My saviour, source, and spring, my life and light.
Malcolm Guite, Parable and Paradox, Canterbury Press, 2016 page 57
We have been swimming upstream through this pandemic for quite a few weeks now, and for many of us there have been spells of darkness as we have had to cope with the absence of much which we normally take for granted. Who would believe that we could become so thrilled at the availability of flour or toilet paper once again in our shops! The absence of human touch has been a great hardship for many, and helps to remind us that there are some people in our communities who do not receive a hug or pat on the shoulder from one month to the next. And although we have benefited hugely from seeing our friends and family in virtual meetings on our computers or talking on the phone, it’s simply not the same as meeting together in person and being able to see the light reflected in someone’s eyes or read other people’s body language. In future gatherings whether in church, homes or pubs, let’s remember to thank God at the start that we have been able to enter through the door.
Sarah Bourne – 20th May 2020 firstname.lastname@example.org