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Journey with John

Ireland is a mythical, mystical and magical land where wonder is found at every turn.  I’m so grateful for the time you gave me to explore and ingest this remarkable place.  Breathtaking hillsides convince you that heaven will most certainly look like this.  Ruins that survive after 3,000 years remind you of the power of building a strong foundation.  Magnificent church structures and statues share a common history.  Like any place, it is the people that give Iife to Ireland.  The Irish people are strong, courageous, filled with pride for their nation and its struggles (which have been many), always searching for answers to the perplexities of the human soul.  The church has always held a significant spot in the peoples’ hearts – although not always a positive spot.  Ugly and hateful acts of power, greed and prejudice plagued the religious life of Ireland.  Religious struggles in this lovely country have been cruel and quite the opposite of the teachings of the Lord, but not all.  Some stories rise up that touch the soul and give you hope for humankind.

One such story takes place at Glendalough Monastery, founded in the 5th century by Saint Kevin, who was searching for the perfect place to be as one with God.  Glendalough is the perfect choice.  Kevin was known for his kindness, gentleness and love for all of God’s creation.  Our guide told us a story about the saint….  It seems Kevin was so in tune with God’s creation, he was forever raising his hands in joyful prayer.  It was a common sight for the people.  One day, as he prayed, with hands lifted up, a bird rested on his outstretched hand, making her nest on his palm.  So filled with love and possessing divine patience, he didn’t move, not wanting to disturb his guest.  The story goes that Saint Kevin remained in prayer with his hands lifted heavenward until the eggs laid hatched and the tiny babies were big enough to fly. His heart soared with them in wondrous love….  Our guide said we could believe it or not.  It was too beautiful not to believe….  Oh, wouldn’t it be a wonder if our love was so deep for God’s creation, that we would devote ourselves to joyful, grateful prayer until all the children were given wings with which to fly?…  I believe it can happen.  I NEED it to happen….  So grateful to you for the time to hear the rich stories of Ireland.  Someday, I hope to be like Saint Kevin.  I have a lot yet to do….  God’s kindest blessings to you.  Peace and joy!

Love,

Pastor John