from the St Alban's Psalter illuminated MSS
I find it very telling that this narrative about Mary Magdalene does not end when she finally recognises the Risen Christ, but continues with her going to tell the disciples... and although John does not tell us their reaction, it isinteresting that this artist some centuries later, imagines them... well, as you can see the expressions on their faces, finding it impossible to believe...and I am not surprised! However, I do find myself wondering whether they therefore found it easier by that evening to accept & recognise him for themselves because of what she had told them...John 20 v 1-23.
Blue Morpho : Surprising Stillness (oil on canvas) . c. Janet Driver
Its that time of year again when throughout the UK everyone who feels they can spend 15mins out in their garden or a nearby park... wherever they might see some butterflies... is asked to volunteer their time, sit and count the butterflies they see, adding them to the annual survey... see www.butterflyconservation.co.uk for details of these three weeks of "citizen science" that is so easy to join in...just 15 mins a day for three weeks, sitting in a pleasant spot, quietly waching for butterflies...do join in !
We always look forward to July, when this amasing tree is covered in cascading yellow blossom... it reminds me of "Broom", but that I remember as a bush growing up on the cliffs by the sea... I have never before seen it as such a large tree... its really beautiful just now.
artist :Jung sun kim : St Mark 5 v 21f... Jairus daughter & the woman healed of her constant bleeding...
the artist has caught the moment when this poor woman had just managed to touch Jesus' garment as he walked through the crowd with Jairus... can you sense the fast-paced movement and feel her desperate need of healing as you look at her hand which almost seems to flow alongside Jesus as part of his hemline.... Clearly it seemed absurd to try & find out who had actually touched him & received healing...there were just too many people milling around...anyone could have touched him ! But then Jesus must have been aware how this person needed to be recognised and accepted...otherwise everyone would have continued to despise her because of her illness... and she would continue to feel she was of no worth as a person... her bleeding had stopped at last... she knew she had been physically healed...but that was only the half of it... he needed to help her see she was totally healed,in body, mind & spirit, through her own daring action. In the midst of the rush to reach Jairus daughter before she died, he was able to take the time to restore this woman...& I feel the artist has really shown us this hurried moment when time must have stood still for her...when she had the courage to admit who she was... " a moment in and out of time" [TS Eliot : Four Quartets ]"Who touched me ?"..."Daughter, your faith has made you whole, go in peace..."
What is it they say about weeds ? ...that they are merely a flower in the wrong place... well I suppose that seems right when you see a dandelion in the middle of a grassy lawn... unless you feel the joy of seeing a sudden splash of deep yellow overrides this ? I know so little about gardening, having only had my own garden since retirement... so often I find muself wondering... surprised by the beautiful deep blue of these small flowers: ooo how lovely, was my first thought, followed by oh perhaps its a weed ? Does anyone recognise this ? With all the rain this spring these bushy, thick-stemmed plants have been emerging everywhere... reminding me of a few years ago when some rather pretty pink flowers with lovely red-stemmed leaves began to appear... I thought they looked lovely & left them... not realising they would seed everywhere... and when I discovered someone had pulled a few of these plants up, leaving them in a small heap right in the middle of the front path... I finally got the message!!