Text and art by I. Lilias Trotter
‘Behold he comes with clouds’ seems the word for today. ‘He makes clouds his chariot… the clouds are the dust of his feet.’ It is the stormy sunrises that are the beautiful ones, spread like crimson wings today over the indigo silhouette of the mountains. From the heavenly side, this red storm of war cloud stretched out over earth’s horizon may be seen as his chariot preparing.
I have been meditating on that awful sense of soul pressure… It seems heavier than usual this year. But it has come to me with fresh comfort that all great results in earthly dynamics are wrought by force overcoming pressure; not a bomb or a shell in the trenches but manifests that. And does not the equivalent law in the spiritual realm perhaps explain the very existence of the powers of evil around us? May they, in the end, be seen to be the only condition through which the manifestation of his power might be shown? And therefore to be received with our whole hearts.
I read that in the early days of August, 1914, a British aviator flew back to base from over enemy lines and collapsed on arrival. The medical authorities thought it was due to the strain of the danger but it was not that; it was the size of the armies against which, all unreckoning, we were measuring ourselves. It might well be that we might be stunned if we could see the scale of the forces against us, and we might marvel at the peace and light that still break through to us.
No gain is counted gain on those fighting lines until it has come through the counter-attacks that invariably dog the steps of every counter-move. It is not the flush of triumph gaining a position, but the strain of holding it when challenged, that determines gain or loss.
As the heavens are higher than the earth, so God’s ways are higher than our ways… ours is the plane of the limited, his of the unlimited.