In ‘Sister Wendy On Prayer’ she often references paintings. My inexpert eyes try to appreciate illustrations from the life of Christ… and the ‘Still Life’…
I recall my frustration at being required to draw or paint fruit, bottles and random objects in ‘still life’ art lessons at school…
Musing… the ‘Still Life’… repeated words from scripture ‘Be Still’… 10 brief musings from my limited experience:
Pause… My life’s full of activity, and noise… tied up with family and friends. I must stop, pause, step back… reflect, listen, be still.
Priority… Busyness frequently causes stillness to fall off the bottom of my agenda. I need to be purposeful and disciplined in including stillness in my rhythm of life.
Place… As a child, (large family, small house!), my ‘place of stillness’ was the bathroom; for many years it was running down country roads; now it’s the garden or the beach.
Personal… People make rules, guaranteeing successful stillness with a particular method of meditation or prayer. I discover what works for me.
Perspective… I step back from the adventure, crisis, excitement, anxiety that I am caught up in… to be still and see things more clearly, in perspective.
Positive… In stillness I focus on the positive. St Paul’s list of the true, noble, right, pure lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy… to ‘Think on these things’…
Practice… I can be very good at theory. As with any skill… swimming, riding a bike… I learn stillness by practicing stillness. With practice I improve.
Prayer… Prayer in stillness can wrongly be reduced to particular narrow style or format… Sister Wendy: ‘You bring yourself in whatever state you are and offer that to God.’
Peace… Sister Wendy: Peace ‘…persists unaffected by financial difficulties, relationship problems or threats of serious disease. It does not block out the pain of these conditions. It rises above them.’
People… Stillness is infectious. I have caught stillness from people of stillness; if I possess it… if it possesses me… others are infected.