There may be sunny days in the winter, but the sun’s rays are weak, spread over a larger area. As our half of the earth is tilted away, so we see the sun at a lower angle. As the angle of our planet shifts, and we begin to tilt back towards the sun, the sun’s rays intensify, giving them more power over a smaller area, and the sun climbs higher in the sky.
There comes a day in the spring when the sun is out and you feel it warming your face, or soaking through your sleeves. You suddenly remember feeling this before, after the winter has almost erased all memory of a warm sun.
Find a sheltered spot, maybe near a wall (it’s not for nothing that stately homes used walled gardens to coax their earliest crops) and stand or sit so that the sun falls full on your face. Close your eyes, and see the brightness seeping through your eyelids, filling your mind with a pink glow. Feel the sun’s radiation stroking, tickling and nuzzling your eyebrows, your cheeks, your ears. Feel the warmth of the sun that’s travelled so many thousands of miles to get to you finally soak into your skin.
As you sit in the sun, soaking up the early spring warmth, think also of sitting in the presence of the almighty. Feel the sun’s rays play over your face, and feel yourself basking in the love of the God who loves you. As the warmth from the sun wriggles into your shoulders, unknotting and loosening your muscles, know that the warmth of God will strengthen you with love in your life. The power from the sun is liberally poured over you; so also is the power of God, filling you with all good gifts – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Lord, thank you for filling me with your warmth, your power and your love. Help me to glow with your light, to warm others with your presence. Amen.
The sun is on average about 150 million kilometres away from you, as you sit or stand there in the spring light. The light and the heat have already travelled for eight minutes through space, much further than any human has ever gone. And yet, of all the many places out there in the solar system, or on our own planet, where these photons could have landed, they have landed on you. At the end of all our journeying, we sometimes find ourselves, and realise how impossibly unlikelyand precious we are.
Lord, thank you for reminding me that I am precious and special. Thank you for all I have learned about myself this Lent, and for the person I am constantly on a journey to discover. Amen.
This post was an extract from Wild Lent: Discovering God Through Creation by Rachel Summers (Kevin Mayhew, 2017), 128 pages, £7.99.