Daily Devotion for Wednesday 19th June 2024


The little blocks of paint in my box are waiting for water, a brush and paper. Painting with watercolour, as so many discover, is endlessly fascinating because it is always a bit unforgiving. There’s a run and unexpected combination as colours mix. I can lift some paint off the page with a wet brush or tissue paper. But, more often than not, something will linger. Unlike painting with acrylics and oils, watercolour tends to say: “You’re going to have to live with what you did. Get used to it!”

There are things we can change. There are things that we do that linger. We end up having to live with consequences. And these consequences can ripple out, endlessly.

I think of the climate and ecosystem crises we are embedded within. A vast sweep of choices and decisions, actions and inaction, have left God’s creation transforming itself around us. Records tumble as the world warms. Floods found once a century become annual. Forests that have been home to life’s diversity fall to the fields of palm oil and soya to feed appetites a world away. Corals die beneath the warming waves as ocean chemistry rewrites itself. And the rising waves displace communities who seek new homes and join the vast movements of people seeking some sort of better life somewhere safer, more secure, less frightening.

‘Alchemy’ is the ancient search to make something precious from seemingly unlikely ingredients. It is the quest for the surprising. We can make surprising differences in our lives. We can hold to the integrity of doing our recycling, cutting our flying, changing how we heat and eat and drive. Each choice and action is another way in which we let our living brush against the world and the lives of others. We can make good marks, and rejoice in them. What of today’s painting? 


God of all creation, forgive us for the harm we have already done. Now, let me change the things I can change. Let me understand consequences, and work to make them good ones. Capture my life for your purposes. Use me, with all the others, to shift and change all that needs to change. Teach me, through the wisdom of others, the part that is mine in all of this chaos. Amen.  

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