A reflection on ‘God speaks’ by Ruth O’ Reilly-Smith
Many years ago, when I was at Primary school in fact, we had a hobbies’ exhibition. A friend of mine had a collection of autographs, and I was rather envious. He had them from pop-stars and statesmen and everything in between. Some were accompanied by the letters from those for whose autographs he had asked. I especially remember one from Leonid Brezhnev, with a swirling hand.
It was many years later that I discovered another meaning for the word ‘autograph’. An autograph could be that very rare thing – a piece of writing or a musical score handwritten by the one who made it. They often command the highest price.
Despite its elegant cover, tasteful illustrations and clear print – Ruth’s book feels very much like an autograph. It feels like the kind of thing written down, by hand, in a much-loved journal whose place is as assured in the day as a first cup of coffee or the last rays of the sun. This is a labour of love, and the book is merely the record of it.
Each beautifully crafted page is an invitation in what feels like God’s own hand, to the reader. These are tender words of encouragement and challenge. Here is strength for the journey and rest for the traveller. I had to pause and think about that description – because surely God’s words are already written down? Then again – what do I do every week as a preacher, if it is not to take those words already written and weave them together into a tapestry for the listener?
These words are followed by a scripture verse, illustrated, and then some journalling space to encourage interaction with what has been read. I have a feeling that this book will become a beloved companion for many.
Maybe I should have got mine autographed?