Published: 28/11/2014
ISBN: 9781784620646
Format: Paperback



'These thoughtful, gentle meditations will be of great use to those who feel the need to be brought back into a deeper rhythm of thinking, feeling, and praying.'
Rowan Williams

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A Reflection of God
Poems, Meditations, Prayer Resources
by Joanna Tulloch

A Reflection of God is a collection of 101 poems, meditations and prayer resources suitable for private devotions or small groups, and some for worship. The book is divided into three sections: short poems, meditations and prayer resources.

Joanna Tulloch provides meditations on Bible passages and religious icons, which she has for some time been learning to paint. Each meditation is linked to a brief theme and one or more Bible references, which are indexed at the end of the book; many of the meditations have been used in her own preaching. Joanna also addresses wider concerns for the world in a number of poems that can be used as prayer resources on subjects such as gang violence and bereavement.

The book is inspired by creation in all its forms, from the author’s dog, Rebel, to a single leaf picked up on a walk, by biblical narratives and sacred images; she sees reflections of God in nature, in people, and in the life of the world around her. First, though, there is a sequence of short poems telling her own story as reflected in her spiritual journey, where she has glimpsed reflections of God as unexpected gifts of faith, often in moments of difficulty. She is not afraid to tackle places of pain or doubt in her own life, but finds in them a spring for the winter-girded heart. This gives the poems honesty, wisdom and depth, offering the reader hope.

This book offers insights into the author’s own personal story, dealing with doubts and concerns in a positive and unique way. Combining the categories of worship material and devotional poetry, A Reflection of God is an inspiring read for any fans of poetry about religion, Christianity and spirituality.

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Endorsement:
A Reflection of God by Joanna Tulloch
This collection of one hundred and one poems and reflections is a treasure. The first section offers poems from Joanna’s inner journey, the second contains reflections on scripture and icons, and the final section gives us poems reaching out prayerfully to the world. Joanna writes poetry as many of us breathe (although one poem – By Beckley Mast p.25 - reveals the anguish when the poems do not come). The book is both a companion for the soul and a resource for those who lead worship.
These poems and meditations are real and speak from soul to soul. They trace a movement from fear and darkness to the light and love of God in which the imperfect self is held in the grace of God. Joanna might call this a movement from jungle to garden. This is not an inevitable movement for we have to choose it, and choose it again and again.
Some of her phrases are exquisite: 'Dapple me daffodil' (p.13), 'Like a spaniel with soft mouth you picked me up' (p.35). I love the word-play in many of the poems. Flagging (p.26) means both a flagging spirit and the tattered flags of prayer which yet attract God’s attention.
Joanna’s poem Conveyancing (p. 67) provided the key to focus some writing of my own. She speaks of the new home for the body, post resurrection: 'The train that takes us there stops at every station.' This image of a train journey where the stations must be travelled through one after the other, with no short-cuts, was precisely the image I needed. I think this is why these poems and meditations are so powerful. They question and connect with our own experience of anguish and of God’s grace. There is meeting.

Revd Bob Whorton: Chaplain, Sir Michael Sobell House, Oxford.

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