Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Countertops, Cupboards & Craniums - Black

Bomp! Ouch! A short while later: Thud! Oochsh! "Man, not again – that hurts!"
Just a brief sound-scape, occurring with fair frequency, when a certain cranium comes in sudden painful contact with overhanging cupboards – especially in kitchens.

Most houses we’ve lived in over the years have had these cupboards handily located, yet out of the line of vision when someone’s head is inclined and the gaze directed towards the workspace of the counter-top. Problem is, I get so absorbed in what I’m looking at on the counter that I forget the cupboards are there above me, then when I straighten my back and lift my head I get a swift and painful reminder that they are indeed still there.

What’s this got to do with Holy Week, Good Friday, and Easter – or inspirational things in general? Well, nothing, really. But, maybe – sort of. This period affords a wonderful opportunity for us to look closely at our lives and at the heart of our faith; to look at the counter-top of grace and see the provisions God our Father in Heaven has prepared for us. And yet, the effect of it will be to elevate our gaze. We can look up and see the treasures through open cupboard doors – as it were – with clear heads and full hearts, in worship and praise to God for the Son He has given, our Saviour and Redeemer, and the price that was paid for our eternal redemption.

To help us do that, a good exercise is to read the latter chapters of the four Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (especially in John from chapter 11 and on), and follow Jesus through the later scenes of His earthly life and ministry, to His crucifixion, burial, and resurrection, and to meditate on these things. Nowadays, it can be difficult just finding the time or even a few minutes' peace and quiet to concentrate – let alone meditate! However, it needn’t take a whole lot of effort to elevate our mental eye-level and tune-in our interior ears. Just takes a little thought, an opening of the mind, and a breathing space of relative solitude. Sometimes it helps to flick off a few switches for fifteen or twenty minutes on several lines of information, communication, and noise, such as radio, tv, Internet, personal music playback device, cell-phone, or even the house phone, et cetera.

Some people work their way through these gospel narratives during Holy Week to focus on each of the Stations of the Cross. Others take any one of those scenes each time, and seek a deeper insight into its significance, while yet others in their quiet times will mull over a verse or two, or statements Jesus made during the closing days and hours of this period, including His words spoken from the cross.

As we do whatever is helpful to us with love, faith, and sincerity, we may well find ourselves becoming quite absorbed in this noble theme of God’s love for us demonstrated in Jesus Christ. But, don’t worry about getting a bomp or thud on the head; rather, anticipate receiving an elevated focus, a feast of good things for the spirit, and a gentle, comforting glow in the heart.

Peter Black
Author of Parables from the Pond published by Word Alive Press
"Written for kids - read and enjoyed by grandmas and grandpas too!"
This piece adapted from P-Pep! column by P. A. Black published in The Watford Guide-Advocate, April 13, 2006.


Judith Lawrence said...


Thank you for helping us focus our gaze upwards to God during this Holy Week. Such a rich time in the Christian year--thanks for the Gospel references on which to think and meditate.


violet said...

Wonderful reminder, Peter. Hope your head's okay!

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