Prayer for Liverpool
I signed up for a whittling on-line zoom course. I have no idea why but it seemed like the sort of activity that would be absorbing and might take me out of the lockdown rut.
All the equipment for the course arrived in the post – a pack that included: a set of very sharp knives, 4 blocks of ash, 4 sticks (wood unknown), sandpaper and a box of plasters (see photo). As an extremely clumsy person whittling counts a dangerous activity so I knew I would need the plasters. Indeed the first task was to unroll the knife roll and take the safety cover off one of the knives – and in seconds I had managed to cut my hand 3 times. Not seriously. But, nevertheless it was clear that I would need to take great care and concentrate – properly concentrate.
As a competitive person I do not like not being able to do things – and I need to tell you that the first two tasks were beyond me. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t hold the knife properly; I couldn’t get the wood to respond. I failed. I hated it. I wanted to stop. And this was 1/2hr into a 5 hour course. I was all for wrapping the knives back up, bandaging my bloody hand and making an excuse so I could leave.
But, then just as I was failing…I made a little whittle mark in the wood that gave me pleasure. A tiny slither of wood – the size of a nibbled finger nail – cut cleanly from the plank of ash as if it were butter…and I was hooked.
From then on I was totally focused, absorbed and taken in under spell of whittling this unformed bit of wood. Before I knew it I was whittling a wooden knife with a very sharp knife and I couldn’t stop. Everything focused in on that creation as if it were the most important wooden knife in the whole world. Then time sped past and then it was 4pm and the course leader was saying goodbye and the zoom ended. I was left with my first whittling creation – which you can see is the most magnificent wooden knife you have ever seen!
What I have realised is that in order to get a rest from work and just keeping home life together I need to do something that is totally absorbing and distracting. I also need something creative – and I seem to need an outcome…in this case a beautiful small wooden knife. I also realised that this had been a prayerful experience: in the quiet creativity of the activity I had drawn close to God and allowed the small still voice of calm to whisper in my ear…and I heard ‘I love you; you are fearfully and wonderfully made’.
I thank you for your grace and mercy.
I thank you that I am fearfully and wonderfully made -
And that you love me.
I pray that in being loved I am able to love,
And that I will be creative, generous and joyful in my loving.
While you're here:
Why not prepare for next Sunday's worship? Our preparation sheet for adults and for children can be accessed by clicking on the Resources tab of this website: https://www.prayerforliverpool.org/prayer-resources.html.
Prayer for Liverpool
brought to you from Liverpool Cathedral
St James Mount
Liverpool Cathedral is a place of encounter.
Built by the people, for the people, to the Glory of God