We visit Margaret, a family friend. At 93 she has no real signs of dementia although some memory lapses are natural. It is a wonder that she still lives on her own without any formal 'care', especially given that she has almost no sight remaining. Margaret travels around locally on the bus and friends take her to church on a Sunday.
Should I go to church tomorrow, I wonder?
It is Church in Wales and perhaps familiar Anglican liturgy, but a bilingual service, while interesting, will be a challenge and how does one truly 'worship' while concentrating on the language?
It is likely that I shall seek out a place for worshipful reflection. Penmon is always so peaceful and a likely candidate. I can sit on the shore with tthe sound of waves lapping around the rocky headland. In one direction the sea disappears over the horizon in another the mountains of Snowdonia loom out of the summer haze and in a third the Great Orme reminds that the busyness of Llandudno with it's crowds and trappings of a seaside resort are not far away. Here I can sit and recognise a quiet sense of awe at the riches of creation. Even in the quiet peace the lighthouse witnesses to the fact that this could be a different place with an angry sea and the threat of death for unwary sailors. And, of course, the pretty Menai Straights are deceptively very dangerous waters to navigate.
I will worship as I anchor these thoughts of creation, life, joy, peace, wonder and loveliness in the God I know in Jesus Christ and learn of in the Bible. Margaret's worship will be somewhat different as it is wrapped in a cherished liturgy and familiar languages and , perhaps, anchored more firmly in formulated faith.
Though familiar I trust that I might be truly aware of the God who is almighty and beyond my fullest understanding. But what if, like Margaret, I could not see and craved the familiar and found God in the trust and faith required to navigate the everyday?
What if the confusion of unfamiliar language and perception of the world around results from a failing mind? Can I rely only on the threads of what I know or is there something truly fresh and new in my perception of things that can continue to speak of God? And what of Jesus, the loved one I knew so well whose words are becoming like the sea fog?
Is it right to wonder at such questions and worship the God who is mystery or am I witness to the fallen nature that needs Christ's healing and salvation?