Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Near your altar, O Lord...

Stream of Consciousness means allowing our thoughts to roam or flow where they will - one leading to the next without attempting to control, judge or order them. I value stream of consciousness as it can give us an indication of what we're made of - who we are beyond our outer, observable self.

Here is a photograph taken this week of a robin's nest hidden inside a forsythia bush blooming brilliantly outside the chapel door. I remember a similar bush planted alongside my childhood home, standing next to my mother, patiently trying to show me where to place my tongue against my teeth to make the sythia sound.

Then I'm reminded of the psalm verse about the birds and the open air Jerusalem Temple:
Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar, O Lord who rules over all, my King and my God. Psalm 84;3

Perhaps the sparrow and the swallow are images of the soul (our inner part) longing to be with God, near God, nesting in God - free, joyful, comforted and unafraid. 

And I recall the words of Jesus who speaks of God's Kingdom, saying:
"What is the Kingdom of God like?" he continued. "What shall I compare it with? It is like a mustard-seed which a man took and sowed in his garden; and it grew to be a tree and the birds came to roost among its branches."  Luke13:19

The birds finding their place among the branches, like so many people in this sad, throw-away world of exclusion, loneliness, fear and alienation -  hoping so desperately to find among the Christians a place of inclusion and welcome: "We've been expecting you; you'll feel safe here." 


  1. I am like the mustard seed, growing in my faith, and reaching out to welcome those who need me. I hope that everyone I meet feels happy, safe and included in my presence. I know there are sparrows out there, trying to find their branch to take hold of, for I was one of them, until someone saved me.

  2. Let us not forget the care that is taken in building this nest, as it takes considerable time finding and collecting each individual piece of twig, grass, leaf, etc., necessary to provide the right amount of protection from the cold and predators. Each piece placed thoughtfully. We should be so careful when building our family home, creating a place that is welcoming and safe.

  3. This is a stunning picture filled with colorful detail. It caught my eye immediately and got me reading. A nest hidden in this beautiful bush. My stream of consciousness brings me immediately to a mother bird watching over her chicks and leaving them only to get food. Protective and loving.

  4. I have a vision of forsythia all around the gates to heaven with the sun shining brightly behind it.