I've found myself drawn to hacking back the brambles setting guard over the bank outside my back garden this last week. It's incredibly therapeutic. The first time I did it I felt as though I was channelling 'the handsome prince' in Sleeping Beauty, working his way through the thorns to find the princess who'd been asleep for 100 years, after Malificent's wicked spell. I even found a rose bush under all the other briars. As a Rosy, I always take that personally, so I started to feel that there was hope for this sleeping princess. My neighbour Irene smiled when I commented that I always like a challenge, as there were easier parts of my garden I could have been planting things - by far.
Of course, at a time when there is so much we can't control, it is therapeutic to bring order to some chaos, and the best bit is discovering what is lurking underneath - in this case also a tealight holder, a vase, and a few other surviving plants. It was good to do something not involving the internet too!
Thorns make their appearance in Holy Week, twisted into a satirical crown and pressed onto the head of Jesus with the sign 'Jesus, King of the Jews.' As I hacked away I thought about all the barriers to the church being set free to be the church, and finding its true dynamic life again. I got more in touch with the things which block me from channeling the energy and life of the Holy Spirit, and my desire to find my way through, and I remembered that there ARE signs of life, green shoots of hope.