Tuesday, 12 July 2011


I'd purchased a pillow at a bargain price. Not that I needed one, but I wanted to support some church fund-raiser. In the interests of charity I will not name the 'Cause' I was assisting. Blessed are they who know when to keep their mouths shut! Concerning this pillow I have much to say.
Never, in my many years, have I ever placed my weary head on a harder pillow. Never has my neck been stiffer than after my giving my bargain pillow a one-night's-try. Perhaps it was designed to be a 'penitential pillow' for sinners who deserved to wait many tortured hours for the day to break and for the sun to rise. Isn't heaven reputed to be a place for eternal rest? I would strongly recommend the management there to trade with a firm that offers a 'soft option' in head rests.
Taking all this into account what am I to think about a fellow who chose a stone for a pillow? This must have been the hardest pillow on earth. Either he must have been in sore straits in this god-forsaken place or, perhaps, he was a person of little imagination. Even I could have taught him a thing or two about improvisation. In my camping days I've used tufts of grass, towels and rolled up clothes as stand-ins for pillows. Come to think of it, I've even aspired to the greater sophistication of creating a support for my neck by placing my shoes toe to toe and then covering the ensemble with a towel. Recipe for a good night's sleep!
Anyway, this hard pillow did not prevent our friend from having a dream that many of us dreamers would envy. Read all about him in Genesis 28. He, Jacob by name, dreamed of a ladder, 'planted on the ground with its top reaching to heaven; and God's angels were going up and down on it.'
Surely a most pleasing dream when we think of the nightmares that haunt some of us from time to time. And what about this?
'And there was Yahweh, standing beside him and saying, 'I, Yahweh, am the God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac. The ground on which you are lying I shall give to you and your descendants.'
No wonder Jacob on awakening exclaimed,
'Truly, Yahweh is in this place and I did not know!' He was afraid and said, "How awe-inspiring this place is! This is nothing less than the abode of God, and this is the gate of heaven.'
And I had described this as a god-forsaken place, barren and unfriendly. Never again will I be so rash, so dismissive of any corner of this, my world. No! It's God's creation; His world . He is everywhere. There's no such place where God is not. This awareness must be the foundational truth of my spirituality. I means that wherever I am, there is God...no matter how dire may be the place in which I find myself; no matter how sinful may be the situation in which I have chosen to put myself. God is there, loving me, even if I have stopped loving Him- which God forbid!
He is there, accessible to me, whenever I want to get in touch with Him. He is there inspiring me, guiding me, shielding me, rescuing me - whether I am aware of this or not. God is to be found even, perhaps especially, in and through a hard rock.
I, personally, am delighted that with my name being Peter, which means 'rock,' I am to think of myself supporting others with the comfort I myself have received from the Lord who 'is my rock,my fortress, and deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge,' (Ps.18.2)

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