Surprised By God – Again!

by Teresa Keogh


After a pretty mild winter in England we are suddenly experiencing a cold patch that reminds us that it is winter. Last week I had a full ‘to do’ list and a ‘full-on’ day at work; when I saw the frost outside the idea of scraping the car was something I just didn’t need. So I approached it with a degree of grumpiness and the… When I started my car to put the blower on the windscreen there was this as I looked through the windscreen:

It was just stunningly beautiful – a sudden and unexpected gift that was literally my early morning wake up to the presence of God in my life. It reminded me of the poem Pied Beauty by Gerard Manley Hopkins ‘Glory be to God for dappled things’. I wasn’t expecting to be surprised by God that morning – I was running slightly late for work and was slightly disorganised for the day – but the present of the Presence aligned me…

Pied Beauty 
by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Glory be to God for dappled things –
   For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
      For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
   Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
      And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
   Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
      With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
                                Praise him.
Source: Gerard Manley Hopkins: Poems and Prose (Penguin Classics, 1985)


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