It’s not pretty… Look, See, Pray

What a choice of photograph.  A diseased, dying leaf- and a “greenbottle” fly, purveyor of muck, filth and germs. That’s so inspirational- how, exactly?

I could have just put up pretty flowers. 050_holathome15edit

Like this. So much nicer, pinker, jolly, and pleasing to the eye. Appropriate to meditate on as a tribute to the Creator, and as a reminder of all the good stuff we take for granted.

Is your life like that all the time? Pink, fluffy and contented? No one being aggravating? Nothing going wrong?

No sadness or grieving? Well, if so- you are unique.

The rest of us have troubles, illness, lousy weather when we planned a picnic, a dratted colleague who must be directly related to Beelezebub, or a washing machine that stops then floods the kitchen….  Happily, not all at once.

016gdn 140819crop2 Look again at this leaf. It had its day- photosynthesis and all that, going swimmingly. Then one morning, old age or infection arrived. Brown spots, holes where something took a snack, and colour starts to fade from vibrant green to sickly yellow.

This leaf is heading down and out.

Then the indignity- a FLY comes to sunbathe (and probably regurgitate something stinky) when only last week it was a butterfly that roosted briefly before fluttering away, rested.

But what a lovely colour- a gorgeous emerald green. And what red eyes… those intricate compound eyes… gossamer wings glinting silver in the sun…  Perfectly equipped to do its business as part of the cycle of life, death, decomposition and plant food.  It’s almost like the Council painting Rembrandt on the garbage truck.

Flies- not pretty, but vital. Amazingly aerodynamic, superbly adapted for dealing in dirt, and an invaluable part of the food chain!  Who’d be a fly? Knee-deep in poo, swatted, chased, swished away, spider’d … and CHOMPED.

Believing in God is not the same as believing in a fairytale world where everything is always perfect, painless, politics-free, and predictable.

In the Bible’s story of Job, God asks “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the world?”  (Job Ch. 38).

The true comfort of Job is that we don’t have all the answers, life can go wrong, there are mysteries…  but God is with us and has a final purpose that is good.

With my un-pretty picture, even the fly has a beauty to it. Perhaps the meditation today should be on the lines of: “Even in the hard place and bad times, there is good to be found if we look carefully and recognise that we aren’t in control of our destiny. That is God’s job.”

Looking at the stuff that in not pretty may lead our prayers to an interesting and surprisingly helpful place. May God have mercy on us as we are honest and prayerful.


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