Building Castles in the Air
One of my parishioners was kind enough to bring me some strawberries and raspberries yesterday from her allotment. Setting apart her own hard work, which is considerable, she had been reflecting on the Wisdom of Creation, especially God’s economy and His timing for the ripening of the fruits. The vegetables, nuts and fruits ripen at various times of the year, giving us an excellent sufficiency and supply, dispersed over many months.
I have many pots of flourishing Basil on my window sill; all at different stages of growth. I am able to give these little gifts to others as a small offering back to God. His economy, from Greek oikonomia,- “management of a household,”is indeed a mysterious outpouring of grace.
Throughout this pandemic, the beauty of Creation has been a constant source of comfort and encouragement. Sadly, human economics is often motivated by greed, power and self interest, but despite this, we see how God replenishes the earth.
Worldly economy is driven by pride, but simpler values and needs are seen in times of crisis. The Great Wall of China could not contain the coronavirus, but Christ builds human bridges of love to care for others who are sick.
As King David observed in writing the Psalm:
“The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.”
God is humble, loving and plenteous in mercy. What a wonderful world we would have, if we followed His example and obeyed His commands.
Building Castles in the air
Reflections on a walk in the City of London
Luke 3:5:”Every valley shall be filled
every mountain and hill brought low;
The crooked places shall be made straight
And the rough ways smooth;”
Soaring glass houses in the London skies
Shrink the deserted souls of EC 1.
There grow commercial plants that fertilize
The f.t. index by a deal well done.
Pretty palaces where the cool, jet set
Drive in darkened windows on alloy wheels;
Which rotate around the secret text and debt
In guarded boardrooms and brunch- type meals.
Life is wealth for such giants of the air
Served by tube and Liverpool Street station;
The stocks and bonds without guilts and care
For the needs of the poor and their own salvation.
God sees the hearts of these important men
Who dispense numbers from their golden towers.
He writes history’s balance sheet with His pen
New Babel falls by mans’ own fallen powers.
Yet in the shadow of Goliath’s feet
Lies a sacred stone of royal David’s line;
St. Botolph’s within the good Bishopsgate
Where wounded souls are healed through bread and wine.
High life soon stumbles and submits to grief
Let white flags of surrender be unfurled,
Your treasure be beyond the hand of thief
Walk humbly in the graveyard of the world.
As abba Macarius was returning to his cell from the marsh carrying palm-leaves, the devil met him with a sharp sickle and would have struck him but he could not. He cried out, “Great is the violence I suffer from you, Macarius, for when I want to hurt you, I cannot. But whatever you do, I do and more also. You fast now and then, but I am never refreshed by any food; you often keep vigil, but I never fall asleep. Only in one thing are you better than I am and I acknowledge that.” Macarius said to him, “What is that?” and he replied, “It is because of your humility alone that I cannot overcome you.”
The poem was written shortly before the Bank Crisis and great economic recession of 2007-8.