August 2019

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First Thoughts : Canon Ann

I was recently giving a picture sewn from scraps of material, entitled “Bloom where you are”.

It shows a wild flower, a thistle, growing out of a crack, with very little soil to support its growth. A miracle, really, that something so beautiful can bloom in such unpromising terrain.

This is something we will all have seen on walks, especially here on Shoreham Beach.

Milly (the artist) was inspired to create this because “Bloom where you are” was the theme of a sermon she once heard, given at an ecumenical service. A sermon that, she says, “has helped me realise my help for other people is always important, however small.”

Bloom where you are: in other words, do what we can in the circumstances we find ourselves in.

What does that look like for us?

Perhaps an act of kindness, giving some time, not retaliating when we are hurt. The point is to put our faith into action, so that others feel and know the love of Christ.

The Bishop of Geneva in the 15/16th century, Francis de Sales, is credited with coining the phrase “Bloom where you are planted” and in saying this:

"Truly charity has no limit; for the love of God has been poured into our hearts by His Spirit dwelling in each one of us, calling us to a life of devotion and inviting us to bloom in the garden where He has planted and directing us to radiate the beauty and spread the fragrance of His Providence."

Milly’s picture is now hanging where I can see it as I work, a visual and beautiful reminder that God wants us to be ourselves and to do what we can to share His love, wherever we are, whatever our circumstances. So, my friends, bloom where you are, in whatever beautiful form that may take!

With love and prayer,

Canon Ann