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Yuki Johnson

‘Origami’ in Japanese means ‘folding paper’. Using a simple square of paper we can make countless figures. Nowadays you can check out websites and will find many ways to create different figures—flowers / animals / insects – even furniture like a chair, a table or a piano.

Today I chose an origami dove – this is one of the simplest designs  –  if some of you find it difficult, don’t worry, you just need more practice.

When I was a small child, my mother taught me how to make this. So now, we continue the tradition to the next generation, with my daughter Tomomi.

As you have seen, the key point in Origami is accuracy. We need to fold the paper neatly and patiently following the instructions.

We started with a simple piece of flat paper – nothing special. We started folding, following each instruction, yet as we do that we don’t know which edge or corner of the paper will come where in the final form. To make the final model we need the confidence to make each step in the right order.

But if we follow the right instructions, even though we may feel like we’re walking in the dark, in the end a wonderful figure emerges. And that can give us joy.

Perhaps the dove makes us think of Noah’s ark. Today, I would like you to consider your handmade dove as the symbol of the Holy Spirit. All four Gospels describe the Holy Spirit descending from heaven like a dove on Jesus when he was baptised.

These scriptures are often read during our Baptism. The Holy Spirit is God’s power and His work to shape us.

We might think of ourselves, in the beginning, as a simple piece of paper.  If we open our heart to listen and follow God, we may be transformed, by the Holy Spirit, into something which can be beyond our imagination.

Since I was a child I have come to know God, and have been transformed, little by little. It is a slow process, perhaps because of my stubborn resistance. Next Wednesday I will be licensed as a Lay Minister in the Diocese of London. Looking back on my journey, I can see how much God has been trying to guide me by the Holy Spirit, fold me, if you like, as a piece of origami paper, supporting me by His Love. I do hope you find the same thing in your own journey.

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