Trying to think about life and how God makes it full

Stories, Patterns, and Presence

here’s a story to end this year:

The Honest Jeweller [William J. Bausch, Storytelling, Imagination, and Faith, (Twenty-Third Publications, Connecticut, 1985), pp 204-205]

A poor but honest jeweller was arrested for a crime he never committed. He was placed in a high and well-protected prison in the centre of the city. One day, after he had been imprisoned for months, his wife came to the main gate. She told the guards how her husband, the poor jeweller, was a devout and prayerful man. He would be lost without his simple prayer rug. Would they not allow him to have this single possession? The guards agreed that it would be harmless and gave him the prayer rug. Five times daily he would unroll his rug and pray.

Weeks passed, and one day the jeweller said to his jailers, “I am bored sitting here day after day with nothing to do. I am a good jeweller and, if you will let me have some pieces of metal and some simple tools, I will make you jewellery. You could then sell what I make in the bazaar and add to your low salaries as jailers. I ask for little – just something to fill the idle hours and keep my skill in practice.”

The poorly paid jailers agreed that it would be a good arrangement. Each day they brought some bits of silver and metal and some simple tools. Each night they would remove the tools and metal and take home the jewellery that he had made. Days grew into weeks, weeks into months. One bright morning when they came to the jeweller’s cell, they found it empty! No sign was found of the prisoner or of how he had escaped from this well-protected prison.

Some time later, the real criminal was arrested for the crime the poor jeweller had been falsely accused of. One day in the city’s bazaar, long after that, one of the guards saw the ex-prisoner, the jeweller. Quickly explaining that the real criminal had been caught, he asked the jeweller how he had escaped. The jeweller proceeded to tell the amazing story.

His wife had gone to the main architect who had designed the prison. She obtained from him the blueprints of the cell doors and the locks. She had then had a design woven into a prayer rug. Each day he would pray, his head would touch the rug. Slowly, he began to see that there was a design, within a design, within another design, and that it was the design of the lock of his cell door. From the bits of leftover metal and his simple tools, he fashioned a key and escaped!

and here are some thoughts to consider as you end this year and contemplate the new one:
1. Look at the circumstance you find yourself in;
2. Look at your responses to your circumstances;
3. Look for the patterns of God in your circumstances;
4. Telling our stories helps us to see God’s patterns, and can show us the patterns of how we respond.

That’s very important because:

Within God’s patterns and our patterns are the keys to unlocking the meaning for our existence in this world; individually and together as a people of God.

And remember the Christmas message as we go into the New Year



December 31, 2006 Posted by | contemplative, culture, god, jesus, religion | 5 Comments

The longest night of the year


i really liked this post from james hawes over at sunday papers.
it resonates strongly with me: being in tune with the natural rhythms of nature and adjusting our lifestyles accordingly.
as we draw to the end of the year, maybe its a time to reconsider how we approach the way we live in relation to the seasons of the year.

December 30, 2006 Posted by | culture, god, jesus, religion | 1 Comment