Spaces and Places

Landscapes are changing.

Lockdown is on slow release, and restrictions are gradually being lifted. Adjustments are being made, and freedoms enjoyed. And life will begin to look different, gradually shifting towards previously known familiarities.

Local terrain is changing too, as the weather nudges us from inside to out, and from sunspot to shade. Our house morphs into different spaces.

Anchored to our home, for which we’re very thankful, creative use of space has been increasingly important. Changing location from the living room to the basement can be almost as good as an outing, and the traverse from back ‘yarden’ (as Billy calls it) to the front is breaking new ground. And then you add in the van – our extra room – parked up and empty on the driveway, waiting for ‘van patrol’, a grand space-bound adventure or a quick trip to London.

Same toys, different space and it’s a new landscape to be imagined and inhabited.

Creativity within restrictions brought about a Backyard Bible Study this week. Eager to meet in person, after various zoom interactions over the last few months, a group of ladies gathered in our garden. Perched on camping chairs, we dug into the riches of Isaiah and begun to see the suffering servant – Jesus – in a different light. As we ‘sat’ with the exiled, listening remnant who were hearing Isaiah back in his day, we grasped more fully their – and our – need for deep-seated, long-lasting, far-reaching comfort that comes from the cross.

As we familiarised with the landscape in which God’s exiled people were dwelling, so we were able to look at our own surroundings, and hearts, through a gloriously hope-filled, rescue-rich lens. And consider how we can grow to trust more in our mighty, tender and faithful God who is the same now as he was back then – holding out the same promises, all the more believable this side of the cross.

Different places, different perspectives, shifting landscapes and lenses. And conversations that push us on to have a clearer perspective, creatively navigating our circumstances now and in the future.


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