Lights in the Trees

September 1, 2015 | Reflections from some of the nuns

Words from The Heart

Lights In The Trees I was sitting in our Church – it was morning and the sun was rising – the seasonal winds upon us. The sunlight was sparkling in the trees and the light was literally dancing in front of me as the winds threw the light from one leaf to another. It brought a smile of delight to my heart as I watched it.

Then memory edged its way in and I recalled seeing something like this before in Chicago. It was in winter on what they call “the golden mile”, a stretch of road that runs through the CBD not far from the lake. Because it was Christmas, the local authorities had put little fairy lights all through the bare trees and the light was sparkling on the snow beneath. I was captivated. 

Sitting in the Church that day, captivated by the Jamberoo lights, cast me back to all the goodness, insights and wonderful people, I had known in “The Windy City” so many years before. It was as if I was knowing them again, almost for the first time; and perhaps I was really, because I was remembering it all from a far greater distance both in time and place. I marvelled at how close these memories are and how little it takes to activate them.

It came to me that God is like that. You and I are eternally in the memory of God. The sky is a particular blue and it reminds God of the colour of your eyes and His deep love for you. The clouds weep on the escarpment and the anguish of your own heart is borne in on His own; the bareness of the trees in winter remind Him of the many seasons you and He have walked; the red earth captivates Him because it reminds Him of the home He has in you, just as the sight of the red earth, when we fly in from the northern end of the world, tells us we are home.

Abbey Scenery In the Scriptures we read “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20). Unspoken and yet understood is the rest of the sentence “…and because I love you, YOU are always with me, eternally in My memory”. The memory of God is slightly different to ours. Our memory simply reminds us, like looking at a photo album, but God’s memory makes us present to Him. I found myself at the end of this experience looking forward to the day and wanting to see over and over again, where it was that I too would remember God and make Him present. Perhaps that is what you would like to do too. Maybe you would also like to have a word to God and ask Him to show you all the ways you are present to Him. Then one day a glorious truth will indelibly take up residence in you, the truth that you and God are always present to each other.


Sr Hilda Scott osb