In praise of... a burning bush by the bins

Monday was a glorious day - a cloudless blue skies, dazzling winter sun type of day. By contrast, yesterday and today have been more typically February - a leaden grey sky and a dispiriting amount of rain. But then this afternoon, as the rain cleared, the hitherto absent sun did what it often does so well, startling us with a bright, sudden display as it began to set. Glancing up and out of the window I was treated to an amazing blend of colour and light. Bare, rain-washed trees shone as if bejewelled, their branches etched against a dull golden sky. I grabbed my phone, found a bit of window not covered with raindrops and rivulets and quickly took a few shots.

Alas, this was one of those occasions when my camera came nowhere near capturing what my eyes could see. The dull gold sky appeared washed out, the shining, jewel-bright branches barely glimmered. Instead, I had to capture the moment in my memory, as humans have always had to do before the easy availability of digital cameras and smartphones.

As I turned away another light caught my eye; and there, beyond the garages, by the bins, a bush, seemingly encased in fairy lights. A burning bush! - but unlike Moses I did not remove my shoes, or approach in cautious awe; instead, I grabbed my phone once again. A shining, burning bush, there beside the bins... a transitory, startling moment of unexpected beauty... a burst of glory fading within minutes from sight but remaining in my memory... a swift, sudden, uplifting joy, and a reminder of the God who speaks from bushes and bins, and can be found in all things, however prosaic, if we only have eyes and heart to see...