‘Safe’ Or ‘Good’? A Lion, Fear, and Wisdom

What is more important to you, safety or goodness?
“Ooh!” said Susan… “Is he—quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“Safe?” said Mr Beaver;… “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
The idea that “good” might not be “safe”, and that “safe” is not automatically “good” comes as a surprise in today’s safety-conscious world, where safety has become synonymous with universal good. CS Lewis, however, had encountered the God of the Bible and used this experience to form the character of Aslan, the Lion-King of Narnia. The fact that so many children, and adults too, have been absorbed in, and enriched by the complex characters portrayed in his Narnian tales suggests that his characterisation describes a reality that resonates in human hearts and minds.
The writers of the bible, present us with a God who they are struggling to comprehend, let alone describe or interact with in a positive way.

A Good Death?

When we stop and consider the impact we or others have made on this earth, our first thoughts go to how we have spent our hours alive; the time we have invested in our children, our careers, our communities; what we have given to others, what we have left to those who will come after us. We give little or no thought to the impact that how we die will have. But when we look at the news or read history, we all want to know how someone died. Whatever we think now, actually it does matter. Perhaps how we view our own death is as important as how we choose to live.

2020 – Extraordinary, Unknown, Unseen

As the year closes , fighting to make the most of what the law permits us to do, we find ourselves at Christmas. We are kept distant from those we are closest too, by our desire to protect and keep safe and respect the regulations that keep us apart. What divides us, unites us as we know that everyone we share this world with, is facing the same struggles and feeling the same pain as we are.

More than any other year I can remember, are the challenges of simply trying to be with the people we want to share this special time with. More than any other year, are the sales of sparkly lights, wrapped around trees, hedges and houses, as we all long for light at this dark time. For many, the days drag as the opportunities for activities diminish and our drive to do something seems to dwindle. And in the middle of these depressing times we look back at the year gone, and out at the Christmas lights.

This year has not been ordinary…

Dales Faith Foundations – Foundation Stones

It seems that as humans we have always expressed our creativity through the buildings we construct. In a dales cottage, a country house, a village church or a great cathedral, can be seen, not only the builders skill, but an aesthetic that warms our hearts and lifts our souls. They connect us with generations past and yet are an essential part of our everyday.

Buildings that last are the buildings that have been built well. Structures thrown together with little care, from poor materials, may serve a purpose for a season, but they, along with property that is neglected, share the same fate, pulled down to be replaced by something new.