Transforming moments

There have been some really precious moments that have transformed this week.

I have been interviewing as part of my MA research, and there was a rather special one this week. It was fascinating and also a pleasure, not only for me but also for the interviewee. Learning about how someone thinks about and understands their faith is a great privilege. The parting comment was, “you got me quite fired up, which was very enjoyable. As I say I was thinking on my feet. I didn’t have time to prepare. That was pleasant for because I was having to think things through during the interview.”

On Sunday I shared in an all-age Woodbrooke on the Road session on the theme of Building Community. The introductions took me back to the times I used to facilitate such events, with a simple ice-breaker and learning a song, “Building Bridges” which we sang as a round. Then we had some thinking and sharing about the processes that are involved in the life of a developing community. Finally in a time of sharing reflections, we listened to each other and the things we had learned, including drama from the all-age group. Afterwards one of the youngest participants, aged perhaps about six or seven, came up to me as we were having refreshments and said, “I liked your speech.” That made my day!

In the morning, during Meeting for Worship, I had found myself reflecting on transformative experiences, starting from the story of Pentecost, and including George Fox’s description of his ‘convincement’ experiences. I remembered someone saying that D-Day was a day on which history hinged. I felt uncomfortable that such a violent experience should be seen as typical of the events that determine our history. Though I recall the origins of the Quaker movement were during the English Civil War.

I tried to think of those experiences that have been transformative for me and on a different scale those that have been transformative for the planet. Some are suggesting that we are now entering a new era, the anthropocene period, in which earth in dominated by the influence of human beings. Experiences that bring about significant change may not be just a moment or a day, but a lifetime or even a century. 

Finally, there has been rain. Lots of rain. Welcome rain. Rain to fill up the water butts and refresh the ground to help the plants to grow. For some there have been floods and challenges to overcome. But for me and the allotment it has been a welcome transformation. As I am learning from Brian Cox and the series ‘The Planets’, water is so precious for life. Some of the planets in our solar systems have had their water stripped from them. But earth has enjoyed billions of years of stability, and plenty of water in which life can and has evolved.

Transforming moments lasting seconds, or eons!

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