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Food for Thought - Musings

ALL SHALL BE WELL

At times like this we can slip into black/white thinking—everything is all wrong or all right. This dualist thinking can lead to despair/hopelessness, all is lost, or a false reaction of faith—beating one's chest and saying I am not afraid, fear not, that ignores our own humanness, our frailty.

But as always, for those who know God, there is a both and reality to life. There can be fear, dread, despair and also a hope in the Triune God. This hope doesn't extricate us from the circumstances of life but steadies us, ground us, allowing us to creatively love others—choosing to limit our liberty so we can act in love for others as we fix our eyes on Jesus.

Julian of Norwich is well known for her declaration of ALL SHALL BE WELL and this can sound like a very black/white statement but is it? Here are some thoughts by The Rt Revd Graham James, Bishop of Norwich on this lovely and powerful declaration.

“All shall be well..”
She must have said that
sometimes through gritted teeth.
Surely she knew the moments
when fear gnaws at trust,
the future loses shape,

The courage that says
all shall be well
doesn’t mean feeling no fear,
but facing it, trusting
God will not let go.

All shall be well
doesn’t deny present experience
but roots it deep
in the faithfulness of God,
whose will and gift is life”.

As feelings of despair, dread, anxiety, any and all feelings arise, let us not condemn them or ourselves but rather choose to use these feelings to usher us into the presence of God—the God of love, wisdom, power, grace and mercy —and open to the hope that is found there. A hope that can steady, sustain and energize us in the stuff of life so we can love and serve others.

Grateful for a God who overcame death and offers us life everlasting and a hope grounded in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus—a hope that will not disappoint.

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