Tag Archive: seeking


The Chapel

What words are here?

What silence?
I brought hope and fear with me
I yield both to You
And still have eveything.

I leave a door ajar

chalk drawing infinity and heart

I leave a door ajar
a window open
creating space for You
invitation
to a potential
encounter
You don’t come
and I learn anew
there’s a discipline
to this
holding space
moulding grace

Talitha Fraser

IMG_0063I have been struggling recently… just figuring out how to exist well in a world where so much feels obfuscated by the power of things unseen to influence and affect my life.  Things and people that seek to control my choices by limiting my choices. As a way of praying, personal confession and speaking to powers I wanted to somehow create a physical metaphor for the ideas circling in my head and this is how the idea for the veil came about.

What follows here is a series of images that seeks to playfully and prayerfully explore, critique, live-into-being the answer to some of my own questions around this idea of what barriers are coming between us and being able to see God clearly…

Here are some of my queries:

In what ways does this veil shelter or smother me?

How can we know and be known through such thickness that clouds and blinds us?

At a recent team planning day, the facilitator mentioned that the church “as we know it” has 17 years left… it’s dying.  What does this mean if we reflect on the Church as the Bride of Christ? Is the church glorious? …holy and without blemish? ready?

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed [are] they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

The Greek word ecclesia, for church, means “The called-out (ones)” i.e. the church is its people, if the institutional church as we know it dies – what does that mean for the called? Does God become a widower?

What does it look like to live with full access to God? How can we remove the veil that creates separation between God and humankind?

Covenant symbols in Christianity: BRIDAL VEIL
“Not only does the bridal veil show the modesty and purity of the bride and her reverence for God, it reminds us of the Temple veil which was torn in two when Christ died on the cross. The removing of the veil took away the separation between God and man, giving believers access into the very presence of God. Since Christian marriage is a picture of the union between Christ and the church, we see another reflection of this relationship in the removal of the bridal veil. Through marriage, the couple now has full access to one another. (1 Corinthians 7:4)” [from about.com]

How might we compare and contrast this invisible veil with a hijab or niqab? What is visible and what is hidden by them?

I first wore the headscarf at the age of 18 (with no pressure to wear it from parents at all even though they are very devout religious leaders in our community). My reason for wearing it was that I was at a point in my life where I was growing in my faith journey and wanted to make my surrender to God visible. For me the headscarf was an extension of my prayer (it is exactly what I wear when I pray).  The act of wearing a scarf had nothing to do with a man, whether it was my father, brother or husband. In fact, my husband did not see me without a scarf until we were engaged. This in itself raises an interesting function that many women who wear the scarf also acknowledge- that the scarf can liberate their bodies from the insistent objectification of women in the public space. It demands that people deal with them based on their intellect, values, manners, behavior, ideas, etc and not based on their looks. Quite a strong feminist statement.            – Dr Nora Amath

Is the Church lost? What is it looking for? What does it need? What does it pray for? Is it lonely? Is it static? Is it dead/dying?

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No one knows what makes the soul
wake up so happy

Maybe a dawn breeze has blown the veil
from the face of God.

~ Rumi

 

 

 

001

 

I will tell you something that has been a secret; that we are not all going to die, but we shall be changed.
1 Cor 15

I am hungry. I am full. I am empty. I am all these things in You.

These words from Corinthians bear hope for me. They give me a sense of space and flexibility where I have felt rigid and tight. This is the gift of Your grace and I am grateful for it.

We draw lines in the sand and then are constricted by the confines of the smallness of our own imaginations. This is why we require You and cannot trust to our own abilities.  Let me confess I am slow to seek You, You speak but I do not hear, I look but do not see what You would show because I imagine I know. Give me the grace to know all I do not know, humble me to be dependent on You always and in all things.

Is our destination to You outside of ourselves or inwards? Both at the same time? It was clever for cities of old to be built as a maze with the church at the centre.  You would always have a sense that you could not get lost because you’d have some understanding of where you stood in relation to God at all times.  Sometimes near.  Sometimes far.  Even a deadend is useful in that we have learned the way not to go.  Perhaps we find a place along the Way that is comfortable and we do not wish to go any further? Perhaps if we go too far we will not be able to find our way back? …but that is a fallacy – there is only ever forwards.  Our commitment to God needs to be this, that ‘I will keep on moving forwards’.  This page, limited to two dimensions, the image could seem to ascend or descend but it would be better to imagine some sort of Cubist mobile suspended in space and time in constant motion.

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This is our God.

This is why I – and you – can be made new

in every moment, made anew, renewed

in every moment.