Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Inspiration from a swimming pool by Ros Bayes

By Adrian Pingstone at en.wikipedia
Recently I had to write a new blog post for the website at work. I had been on holiday, and before I went I wrote 3 posts that could be uploaded while I was away. Now I was back and it was time for a new one, but I was devoid of inspiration. I left work at the end of the day not having begun a new post, and went to pick up two of my daughters. My youngest daughter and I had recently come across a fantastic, accessible swimming pool with height adjustable changing bed, ceiling hoist and a special wheelchair for wheeling disabled swimmers down a slope and into the pool, and we were keen to try it out with my middle daughter, a wheelchair user, who loves being in the swimming pool.
At the complex (Aquadrome in Basingstoke, if anyone’s interested) there are so many pools, flumes, bubbles, water spouts and tipping buckets that the sound of the water is a deafening roar, and that got me thinking about the many times the Bible describes things as having the “sound of many waters”. Sometimes it’s the anger of the ungodly nations; sometimes it’s the voice of Jesus Himself; and sometimes it’s the sound of the chorus of praise from the worshippers around God’s throne.

From this little observation in the swimming pool I found the inspiration to write my next blog post. As writers we do this all the time. Anything we see, hear, smell, touch or taste can become source material. Some of the results can be hilarious. I’m a fan of Miles Kington’s Let’s Parler Franglais, based on his observation of what happens when the average Brit attempts to speak French on holiday. Some can be both amusing and touching, such as Jane Austen’s observations of the different types of people in the Pump Rooms in Bath. Some are poignant, like The Voice, Thomas Hardy’s heart-rending poetic tribute to his late wife Emma, with its ethereal quality right up to the line where he mentions her “air-blue gown”, which suddenly conjures up a very concrete image of the “Woman much missed”.

Jesus did this all the time. He noticed the ordinary things around him and used them as illustrations of deeper spiritual truths. We miss the significance of some of them because our culture is so different from the one which He was addressing. Just as we would describe a character making a phone call, and wouldn’t write a detailed explanation of what a mobile phone is and how it works, so Jesus doesn’t give any clues to the significance of the references in His stories – it simply wasn’t necessary for His hearers. 

Brooklyn Museum The Lost Drachma   James Tissot
When He told the story of the lost coin, every married woman in his audience probably involuntarily raised a hand to touch her forehead where she had worn the headdress of coins on her wedding day. Every one of them could imagine the anguish of losing one of those coins. Each one would have been eager for the dénouement of the story Рwhat happened? Did the coin turn up again? There would have been a collective sigh of relief from the listening women when it was found, and understanding nods when the lady in the story summoned all her neighbours to a joyful celebration. And then maybe there would have been a dawning understanding, shared in whispers, that we are as precious to God as that coin was to its owner.

What simple things in everyday life inspire your stories and carry a deeper meaning?


Ros Bayes has 10 published and 4 self-published books, as well as some 3 dozen magazine articles. She is the mother of 3 daughters, one of whom has multiple complex disabilities, and she currently works for Through the Roof ( as their Training Resources Developer, and loves getting paid to write about disability all day. You can find her blog at and her author page at Follow her on Twitter: @rosbwriting.



  1. I love it, Ros. Finding inspiration in the ordinary. God gave us fertile imaginations, and then gave us everything we need to use them

  2. Thanks Ros, feel really uplifted by your post, and for the reminder of how we can find inspiration in the ordinary if we have eyes to see x

  3. Constantly seeking inspiration - thank you Ros