There’s a plum tree outside our kitchen window. I’ve been watching how buds are forming on the bare branches and know that soon they will burst into flower, for a short exuberant flowering as happens every year at about this time. Will the weather be as wet and blustery and rough as it often is just as those delicate blossoms open?? If it wasn’t for that plum tree, and other plants in our garden as well, I wouldn’t remember what the weather is usually like in mid-August. Their short-lived glory attracts and holds my attention, and then I feel more exposed to and observant of what the weather is doing out of a kind of sympathy.

The annual cycle of readings we follow for the Christian Year can be a blossoming of such fine images in the ‘weather’ of daily life, and sometimes the buffeting that goes on all but blows them away. Last week we read Luke 15: 11-32, the story of The Prodigal Son. Again it echoed as a story for us today, to the point where the younger son has lost everything. Then we are less certain: who can be so sure that when we reach such a level of powerlessness, that in coming to ourselves, everything will turn out well in the end? How do we forgive, how do we manage conflict, what if it’s all one sided?? Rough winds of difficulty can batter small buds of hope, especially in family which is the setting for the parable. We did have a group conversation on Saturday that could have been continued for a long time on the story, and then we had to leave it, maybe having changed a little in our understanding.

There was more to the experience though, a whisper of the winds of Spirit round the gospel reading, and which opened my eyes with a brighter kind of wonder. The conversation group planned for Saturday was unwittingly scheduled a month ago in the week that The Prodigal Son was to be read, and even a book on The Miracle of Birth (Geoffrey Hodson) that I picked up last week referred to the parable. And I was called on in a consultation to have faith to affirm that when we have lost everything with which we normally identify, yes, the Christ will then be with us — and further, as I happened also during the week to be reading “How Do I Find The Christ”, a lecture by Rudolf Steiner, I needn’t have been surpised to read the following:

“….We can sense our illness and incapacity through our powerlessness; but we can also sense the Saviour, the healing power, by plumbing the depths of this powerlessness and acquainting our soul with death. When we sense the Healer we feel that we bear something in our soul that can at any moment resurrect from death within our own inner experience. These two experiences belong together. When we seek both of them, we can find Christ within our own soul.”

In observing what is familiar in the world of nature and the world of our inner nature we do broaden our sense of life and what is happening in and around us.

Posted by Cheryl Nekvapil