Let Go, and Let God

Today is the 1st of August.

It is Lammas or Lammastide, a day celebrated by Pagans and Christians. It is the first wheat harvest and we praise God and/or the land for the bread that nurtures us. For Pagans the emphasis is on death and rebirth, the cycle of life. The richness of the ground is in the foreground, and the death of winter is slowly approaching. Yet Spring will come.

“Hoof and horn, hoof and horn,

All that dies shall be reborn.

Corn and grain, corn and grain,

All that falls shall rise again”.

Today I went to Evensong at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, which some people may know is my favourite place. I feel soothed the moment I walk in, and spend at least half of the service staring in wonder at the ceilings. When I come before God I am tiny and small and insignificant. That is necessary.

[ Image of Liverpool Anglican Cathedral on 1st August 2021 by Gemma Ahearne ]

I find God mostly in nature. I worship God when I watch the waves, feel the crunch of leaves underfoot, the stillness of an Autumn evening.

I find God in people, the everyday encounters when talking to strangers and the love in my heart when I am with my family and friends.

My wonderful friend Ros, a Quaker, sent me this magazine article in February of this year. It continues to resonate with me.

We won’t find God in the most Holy of places unless we take Him/Her with us.

For me, connecting to others is what makes me human and feel alive. I find God through the living, whether that is nature, animals or people. I have found the last 18 months sterile and odd. I do not wish to communicate with loved ones through a screen like an episode of Black Mirror, and I like meeting new people.

I have felt frightened over the last 18 months that so many people have not acknowledged the authoritarianism, and do not value human connection.

Today’s first reading was Job 28 and spoke about the limits of knowledge and understanding. As humans, we know nothing. The most esteemed experts in the world will fight and disagree. When this pandemic is over, many other disasters will emerge, personally, locally and globally. There will be more viruses, floods, fires, famines, terrorist attacks wars. The most esteemed planners and advisors will not be able to get it all right. The world is messy and broken.

During the pandemic the human need for control has caused much damage, both in terms of the media coverage, and the unwillingness of scientists to admit the limitations of their predictions or perspectives. Society is fractured and ‘follow the science’ has become its own religion. It makes sense in many ways. People are traumatized and scared and what the definitive answer. They crave control when the world is in such upheaval.

Most of us have not faced death on this scale before. I am very comfortable with death, and blogged about mental health and All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day here. Far from making me a morbid person, being aware of the approach of death makes me grateful every day for life. I do not take it for granted.

My journal article ‘Criminologist or criminal? Liminal spaces as the site for auto/biography’ is my reminder to always have faith and that the worst pain always passes. No matter what you are currently facing, this too shall pass. It is also a very personal account of vulnerability and weakness. My faith brought me through that period.

Thinking of everyone who is struggling. “Let go, and let God”.

Gemma x