Enjoying Christmas

It’s been along time since I have been able to say that. I’ve always valued Christmas and what it means to my faith, but I haven’t always enjoyed it for a few personal reasons.

This year I did; due to reconciliation and healing in my relationship with my Dad, which meant our first Christmas together for 17 years, and also because of the time spent with Ellie and her family.

I thank God for both of these times and for what He is continuing to show me.

Freeze frame

It was certainly cold enough for that phrase to apply when I went mountain biking yesterday. I thought I would get one last decent winter session in so headed out to Leigh Woods, wrapped up in many thermal layers.

I enjoy the solitude when I am on my bike –the world seems clearer to me and it gives me time to think. I love the peace I feel when I am communing with creation; God seems that much more tangible and close.

The beauty of being out on such a cold day was that there were very few people about. I saw maybe 6 people in 2 hours. It made me feel as if the world was my own, if only for such a short space of time.

The air was cold and harsh but the colours seemed clearer. The air was pure and clean and the sound of the silence in the woods was deafening. The occasional breath of wind in the trees was the only accompaniment to my sloshing through the deep mud and water on the trails.

And then it happened. A moment of beauty that reminds you why you are alive.

As I rode along a trail and came hurtling round a corner I heard a disturbance in the undergrowth. Suddenly two deer jumped right out into my path. I braked, and despite the pain of my pedal cutting my shin as I managed to not fall over, I stopped in time.

There in that moment of freeze frame –I looked at these beautiful creatures, not ten feet from me, and they stared back. Our clouds of breath travelled upwards into the cold air. For a few moments we made eye contact and I was aware of how much I was intruding on their domain.

I sat and waited. Then they disappeared through a gap in the fence and jumped into the field next to the woods. There they turned around to watch me. I was mesmerised and hadn’t moved. Then they turned tail and hurtled off at great speed.

It made me realise that sometimes you still get moments…moments where you realise what a precious and beautiful world we live in.

Dark To Light

We had the Healing Conference a couple of weeks ago and it was a fairly major time of healing for me.

Inside me is a lot of stuff that I have felt I want to express but I think that God wants to keep it between Himself and me. So I will just leave you with this:

Dark To Light

A war was waged in my soul
That created savage destruction
And caused innumerable casualties
Of the innocents around me

The traitorous fifth columnist lay inside
Sometimes fighting a guerrilla campaign
At other times a full blown invasion

I repelled wave after wave
Taking more wounds than I ever imagined
Hard pressed to stand
Let alone able to defend at all costs

The raging torrent of death
Nearly overwhelmed me;
Taking me under and over
From all that I knew

Only at the last did my feet finally touch bottom
And found the Rock
On which I clung to

As I lay, spent beyond recognition
I realised that the storm had passed
And the Son had come through

The Light broke forth into a new dawn
The dawn into a new day
A day of life
And regeneration

The traitor within my camp was found
And dragged, kicking and screaming
Into the open
Where it revealed his heart of darkness

He was taken away to be dealt with
To be put out of his misery.
In him I saw myself
And he saw himself in me

But no longer
For my face is now unveiled.