Thought for the Week with Richard Bryant, retired SSM ministering in The Stroudwater Benefice
MY WIFE and I have just enjoyed a short holiday in a cottage beside the River Dee in Cheshire.
We may be technically retired, but life is very busy and getting away for a while helps us to get things back into perspective.
We enjoy walking and exploring our wonderful medieval cities (like Chester), but one day I was sitting quietly enjoying the peace and quiet and I found myself thinking about visions.
Visions are powerful events – strange and unlike anything else – at the same time vividly real and yet beyond our normal understanding of reality.
How do I know?
Because I have been gifted a vision, and, among those reading this, there will be many others who have also been similarly gifted.
Each vision is different, each appropriate to the receiver.
Some will be beautiful, others will be puzzling.
Some will be instantly dramatic.
With others it will be weeks or months or even years before the receiver understands what they have received.
Visions are not something that only happened in the past, nor are they limited to those who are extra-specially holy.
There are people who will say that visions are simply figments of particular mental states, and it is certainly true that it helps if you are willing and able to sit still for a while and to approach life with a mind open to all sorts of possibilities.
But we must not let the secular world over-analyse or trivialise our visions.
They are not just daydreams.
They are special, and deserve to be treated with reverence and care.
Retired SSM ministering in The Stroudwater Benefice