Today I have been working on writing up the report on my sabbatical leave. It is an attempt at drawing together some of the disparate threads from three months of reflection, reading and prayer and trying to tie them all together into something that is intelligible.

I have bits of paper, a notebook, a ring binder and a head with lots of different squiggles and pieces of information in them. As I have been re-reading them I have found that they have served their purpose and I am able to recall what happened, what someone said or what I read to motivate the squiggle being created. Just to warn those who may be asked to read what I am preparing, so far I have written 5,000 words and I am nowhere near finished!

Graffiti 3I may inflict some of this on you, dear bloggite, at some stage, but for now I want to reflect on the squiggles. We humans like ‘marking our territory’. That may be an indelicate phrase, so let me explain. We like to leave reminders of our presence. We may build an enormous henge out of stone (and forget to leave instructions so that it baffles people in 21st Century Britain). We plant flowers and trees in our gardens to personalise them. Some people use spray paint to leave their unwelcome mark on buildings and walls. We mark our time on this planet with a stone, a plaque, to commemorate that we have been here and identify our final resting place. Squiggles on the page of human history.

And while some of these squiggles are significant enough that people will remember that Isambard Kingdom Brunel designed the Clifton Suspension Bridge, or that Sir Christopher Wren designed St Paul’s Cathedral, few of us will leave such obvious squiggles.

Our squiggles are scrawled on the lives of those around us. They can be positive or negative. They can be memorable or forgettable. They probably won’t merit a blue plaque on the wall of the house where we used to live, but the impact on others can be immense.

If you want a wonderful, moving example, read Romans 16:1-15. These people wrote squiggles on  Paul’s life and he has written squiggles on the world stage!

Be blessed, be a blessing

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