City Women’s lunchtime discussion on Monday 30 June 2014 used angel hands to connect with God in the workplace. Four prints of angel hands by Birmingham artist Jake Lever were used to open up connections and to share experience and wisdom. City Women drew inspiration from the beauty and mystery of the prints created by passing ink, gold and paper pressed through a mangle. The images were inspired by angel hands in old masters, a fresh encounter with ancient wisdom.
Discussions were far-reaching, embracing:
– Vocation – the pattern of work and life, with God’s hand overshadowing our lives.
– Wrestling with difficult issues or people – as we live honestly with unresolved questions, issues or conflict.
– Justice – the energy and courage to stand up and be counted, challenging attitudes or values or standards when necessary.
– Making space for silence and reflection – renewing our strength and energy when we step back from non-stop activity.
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Our shared lunchtime space for reflection and discussion resourced us to engage more wholeheartedly in our work and in our lives. We finished with the following blessing, affirming our connection together before returning to our workplaces around the city:
PATTERNS OF WORK AND LIFE
As we notice the pattern of our work and our life,
as we think of our vocation, our unique calling,
using and developing the skills which are ours,
bless us in our work,
help us authentically to offer who we are and what we do
in a way that is creative and life-affirming,
blessing ourselves and others.
When we have to wrestle with difficult issues at work,
help us to grow as we rise to the challenge and
bless us in the honest engagement,
even when it is demanding and costly.
And when we have to hold a firm boundary,
or when we tap into “high five” energy as we together affirm the good,
standing up for what is right and good
bless us with the gift of courage
and give us the energy to stand firm in the cause of integrity, justice and truth.
SPACE AND REFLECTION
Whenever we are overwhelmed by the challenges we face at work,
bless us with the space to step back and take stock,
either alone or with trusted colleagues, friends or family,
so that we can re-engage with a deeper wisdom,
leading us to more effective, whole-hearted action.