Christina Rossetti’s remarkable and deeply moving poem, “The Despised and the Rejected” needs a candlelit chair, the glowing embers of a fire and deep peace to contemplate its profoundness. I know I have rejected Christ in some part of every day through a weakness of heart and thought, sometimes I am too dragged in on selfish thoughts of my own pain whilst still struggling with recovery from an injury, but in my defence not all the time – just those moments of weakness.
I find it hard to accustom my sight to Christ’s breadcrumbs on the streets of London and because of my own discomfort I lose sight of Him and I struggle to look past the thicket of branches in the woods and only look at my own feet instead of His. I need to delight in finding His breadcrumbs as I did not so long ago on the walks to Chichester University from the train station; the change of destination has aided a fog to surround me.
The depth of self-pity and inward sadness leaves us in a deep and dark place, unable to see outwards, unable to shake the damp fog that unwantingly clings to us and saps our strength and spiritual reserves. If only I made myself look up, if only I had given my time to Him, a small portion of my day in the quiet stillness of Listening for Him …. if only a church door was open on the way home and a candle lit. I know I would then regain and replenish my longed-for spiritual strength in a place of sanctuary.
Not a good depiction of my idea but the breadcrumbs show themselves as representations of the Cross in leaves, in fallen bark or in the birdsong that surrounded me on this part of my walk. These are reminders to be thankful for all that is good in my life and the little birds represent God’s messengers in a brief, fleeting moment.
Malcolm’s reading can be found here.