Notebook

In the Night

I am always touched by words from Psalm 102: ‘I am like an owl among ruins’. All of us feel like that from time to time. The experience needn’t be purely subjective; it may well correspond to things as they are. It is wonderful, then, in this morning’s office, to meet the assurance (from Isaiah 51): ‘The Lord comforts Zion, comforts all her ruins, and will arrange her desert like Eden, her wilderness like a garden of the Lord.’ The promise is prospective. But prospect presupposes retrospect: ‘Look to the rock from which you were hewn’, cries Isaiah, ‘to the quarry from which you were dug.’

How can we look forward now, as a society, even as a Church, given over as we are to collective amnesia? The Word we await is the Word that ‘was in the beginning’. We must remove over-focused spectacles which only make short-sightedness worse and contemplate, somehow, that entire span. We must be like owls, watching in the night with attention.