Clearing Fog- Look, See, Pray

Taking Juliet to work was slower than usual. Dunstable was thick with fog. Every photographer likes foggy mornings- everything is gently muted, colours blend and lights have a glowing corona.

The downside is that travelling is slower and more dangerous.

I decided to drive up onto the Dunstable Downs. As I ascended the steep road everything grew gradually brighter; then as I reached the crest, clear air and a great view across the Vale waited peacefully for my arrival. The fog hadn’t dissipated, but it had flowed into the valley so the tops of the hills were isolated islands rooted in mist.

One year ago I experienced a different “fog” clearing- a successful six-hour surgery left me dozy and rather confused. General anaesthetics are wonderful at what they do! My surgeon came to the recovery ward and told me everything had gone well, but had taken a bit longer than expected… then I remember Juliet smiling… and not much else until the next day.

It takes a while for the fog to clear from the brain. I was a bit foggy for a few days! The surgery had removed a cancerous growth which would have been fatal if untreated. After the operation, it took three weeks before I was well enough to come home: and a couple of months beyond that to really recover “normal” functions. Today is a “re-birthday” with presents!

I have an artistic scar: and a “new” life to live. How shall I use the gift?

This year has put most of us into a fog of anxiety, inconvenience, and grief. One year on from my surgical adventure, I find the little things are more valuable than I had realised. Things like this: today I went for a little walk at Pagham Harbour. A chill breeze carried the threat of winter, the tide was right up, and the bird population was in full flight. Lapwings floated and circled on the wind, dipping onto the mudbanks. Swans glided, moorhens mutely fussed, and the ducks and geese circled round, like new pilots doing “circuit and bumps” to practice takeoff and landings. Two curlews whizzed just over my head as other unidentified birds filled the grasses and hunted the shallows. Simple everyday pleasures become treasures. Our surroundings can give fresh perspective

My hope is that as we all move through these days of lockdown we will find that the fog clears and a clear Light will shine again. Perhaps we need to keep climbing to clear the fog and find a fresh future hope. The view from the top is worth the climb.

Best of all, the relationships we share- the love that we can give and receive– make life worth living. Most important is the promise that God can raise us up enough to clear the fog and be able to see clearly and live with hope.

I am wholly convinced that God loves us and wants the very best for us; and that however thick “our” fog may seem, He is willing and able to clear it. I carry the scar to remind me.

Isaiah 44:22 (NLT) “I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free.”

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