NAIB and I were awaiting the rest of our party in the hotel lobby. I pulled out the leaflet about Beeston Castle, which we had visited half a lifetime ago.
370 years ago it was the scene of a siege during the last civil war in England, after which it was demolished by the parliamentary forces removing a threat to nearby Chester.
Naturally we were more concerned to recall our visit than the long siege of 1644-45. It was February when we were there and the nettles were no more than brittle grey stalks, the ground beneath them bare.
Here and there were stones and the odd shard of pottery. NAIB and I both found scraps that looked like the reconstructed 17th Century wine flasks in the museum. George, her younger brother, was becoming frustrated that he had found none, and his mother was getting anxious to return to base before dark.
His sister offered him one of her pieces; no, that was not finding it for himself.
‘Here’s one’, said his mother, but that was not finding it for himself.
What worked was for one of us to spot a shard on the surface, but not to touch it, nor to point at it, but just to wave a hand over it and say, ‘This looks like a good place for pottery.’
George went on his way rejoicing with his own piece of pottery, after finding it for himself.
It seems to me that each of us has a ‘treasure hidden in a field’ that the Good Lord allows us to find for ourselves, even providing endless clues to guide us. Let’s be open to that guidance, not consumed by frustration, fear or anger.
Come Holy Spirit!