I am sitting in my kitchen, spring sunlight pours in through the open door. It is cold but beautiful. This has been quite a week hasn’t it? Two very significant deaths in our small world of the faithful. One so untimely it takes the breath away, and the other at the end of a very long and faithful life.

As I pondered what to share with you, and read many blogs and blog titles I sought to find authors I did not know; there are many voices familiar and loved in our blogroll this week, and then others I have either never read, or not feature here before. I have chosen six, but could so easily have added more!!

The two people who died and whose deaths have touched me, are Rachel Held Evans and Jean Vanier. I came across Jean Vanier when I was studying; in fact, L’Arche, founded by Jean Vanier, was a community I stayed in and wrote about for my final year studies. He desire for inclusivity and a real place for those who are differently abled created communities around the globe; you can read about him in Jean Vanier, Henri Nouwen and Me, which is a considered reflection on his death, and his life and influence.

The death of Rachel Held Evans has rocked the theological world; it did not warrant news coverage, but for those of us who read her work, and hungered for more it is a blow, for those who really knew and loved her it is beyond simple words; Explanations are not Easy on the Messy Jesus blog explores not only her death but other deaths and the mystery of knowing God, asking God, seeking answers… she remembers “A Wrinkle in Time” and quotes: I turn to God and pray “WHY?” As I do, I often find myself remembering Mrs. Whatsit’s words. “Explanations are not easy when they are about things for which your civilization still has no words.” 

If you are a reader of our Blog, you may well have already explored Wednesday’s Wits Ends Days, if not, I am linking to it again – it made me literally laugh out loud! I also laughed quite a lot at the serious answers on the Facebook page, some of which gleaned some good ideas for the summer… we have come a long way from our early days of being just a blog ring. but, one of our bloggers is celebrating 10 Years of Blogging by asking the question, does anyone blog anymore? To which the answer is clearly YES! Otherwise there’d be no point in this feature! in her blog she also asks “what keeps you blogging?” – it is a question that has stirred me. My blog is also approaching that 10 year anniversary, and I often wonder why I keep it going, nowadays it is mostly a vehicle for my sermons. My writing has been in a fairly dry season for quite some time.

Knowing who we are; why we do things; knowing that we are known, loved and recognised is so very important. my final two selections for you this week are a reflection on Spiritual Direction and a poetic reflection on being seen. For me my hour a month with my Spiritual Director is an oasis of calm and intentionality I would be loathe to give up. Mags Blaikie explores the Asymmetry and Hierarchy, perceived or real, that comes from being a Spiritual Director. And, RevGals Board member, Liz Crumlish, writes about being Seen, on her blog Journalling; if you like what she writes, you can hear more from her next year at REVive Iona, when she will be leading our second Iona event Renewal on the Edge.

I hope you enjoy exploring these blogs, and it may inspire you to read further, write more and explore this blogosphere of wonder.

Julie Rennick is a Church of Scotland Minister, serving a small rural parish in the Scottish Borders, she takes photos of all she sees when out walking with her spaniel.

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