“You can hide 'neath your covers and study your pain
Make crosses from your lovers, throw roses in the rain
Spend your summer praying in vain
for a saviour to rise from these streets…”
Thunder Road (1975)
I always find this classic Bruce Springsteen track worth listening to again at this time of year as the nights draw in heralding the onset of winter. And with winter perhaps, for some of us, comes the onset of a depressive frame of mind.
I have lived in many places – Bristol, Hong Kong, Cambridge, London and now Keynsham – and, wherever I am on cold, dark winter days, I find myself looking out and asking if there are signs of a saviour in our streets. It forces me to face again the ultimate question ‘Are we alone in the universe?’, and the breathtaking possibility that the answer may be ‘No’ – that there is, as has been claimed by men and women of faith down the centuries, a God of love who is closer to us than we think.
In the first century AD, Jesus of Nazareth looked into the night sky above Jerusalem and called out for help, saying “Father!”. Could God – ‘our Father in Heaven’ be a breath away waiting for us to call out too?
Simon Howell. Team Vicar.