Waiting On The Word
By Lorraine Cavanagh
Foreword by Martyn Percy
Darton, Longman & Todd – £12.99
[…] for many people, to fall is to fail. Cities fall; so do people. It is to be reduced: to come to nothing. And yet, we also fall in love. To fall is also to let go. It is also to go with the flow; to cascade, like a river or waterfall.
If we surrendered
to earth’s intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees
Instead we entangle ourselves
in knots of our own making
and struggle, lonely and confused.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Foreword)
Both of the above quotes might be construed as an insinuation as to where we, as a society, have gone horribly wrong in so many (avoidable) ways. As mere words written on a page, there’s no denying that they need to be read and embraced for all their worth.
BUT, all too often, those doing the reading will undoubtedly already be well aware of the culpability of entangling ”ourselves in knots of our own making.” It is the vast array of brain-dead sycophants (such as most of those in Theresa May’s Cabinet or those who ever so transiently kneel at the alter of Donald Trump) who really/undoubtedly need to read and be made aware of the above.
Even if just for a smidgen of a fleeting moment.
Alas, it really is the powers that be, whom truly need to embrace an assortment of (the most prophetic and clear-sighted) writings throughout Waiting On The Word.
Indeed those who can afford, as well as both make and allow for change to happen – as Lorraine Cavanagh makes fundamentally clear in chapter five’s ‘Becoming an effective communicator:The preacher as Connector,’ wherein she writes: ”They represent the chronic loneliness which is a direct result of our indifference to the circumstances of other people, the protective self-interest so characteristic of our times, and of our busy and affluent western society. If we read […] of the refugee crisis which is being played out on the beaches of northern France and on the barbed borders of an increasing number of other European countries, it becomes a grim prophetic warning about the future of Europe itself. Turning a blind eye to suffering, by refusing to work together as nations, will ultimately cause our own fragmentation. Without compassion, and a shared duty of care ‘the centre cannot hold’ (the centre cannot hold: Y.B. Yeats, The Second Coming).”
The 143 pages of Waiting On The Word are a more than telling indictment of our most terrible of times.
Aligned with a calling to be open and sincere and to avoid the fickleness of fame, fortune and the most inane of popularity (or should that read celebrity?), it is a book that really does need to be read by anyone and everyone currently in or considering a career in politics (let alone the pulpit).
After all: ”Knowing we are loved is not a matter of knowing that we are popular. Popularity is fickle. It can vanish overnight. But healthy self-confidence is a gift […].