I received the news by a text message, a kind of chain-mail message being forwarded from friend to friend to friend. It was Sunday evening. We’d finished dinner and my toddler was nattering away into my ear, the TV blaring into my other ear.
I half-read the message, confused and refusing to believe that I was reading correctly. I glanced up and laughed at something ludicrous that my toddler had said.
“No!” my inner voice insisted. “It cannot be!”
I looked at my phone and read the message slowly. No. No. No. Read more
Throughout the gospels, Jesus challenged the Pharisees and religious leaders of the time. He challenged them particularly on one major point: they had lost sight of what God’s heart was all about: people. They had gotten lost in religion and rightness and what Jesus openly termed “human rules” and forgotten about God’s love and passion for humanity.
As I read yet another scathing article this week, where one church leader and his entire congregation was targeted and essentially given that burning label, “false prophet”, my heart broke a little as I realized that so many in the christian church have taken up positions as modern-day Pharisees. I couldn’t help feeling a tinge of shame, wishing I could stash the contemptuous blog away, and hide it from the eyes of those still searching for their Creator. I wouldn’t want them to find this version of God, the un-loving and condemning one. The one that ranks judgment above love.
My plea to writers and bloggers is this….
Stop public bickering about doctrinal issues.
“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
“Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.”
Its the wind whispering secrets to dry leaves in tall trees.
The hush. That audible hush interrupted only by an empty breeze.
It’s an ice blue sky stretched from horizon to horizon.
A bone-deep cold broken by the Winter sun arising.
It’s the white-gold of plains like a turbulent honey ocean,
Yet the gnarled claws of blackened trees stand stiff without emotion.
The ground crackling underfoot, the rhythmic beat of gravel.
A farm road winds eternally like a ribbon come unraveled.
The tick-tick-tick of a bicycle wheel with the du-du-du of a bird.
A zebra laughs in the distant veld at a bawdy joke not heard.
Then all at once it’s nothing, not a sound and not a sight.
The silence of the deaf, the dark of the blind, the wilderness at night.
Somewhere in the midst of this, a speck in the expanse of universe,
The words of one soul to another, I love you, dear, for better and for worse.
The wind dies down, as does grass. The zebra returns to dust.
When all that remains are stars above, the only thing left is us.
17 June 2016
Written in a wilderness
My toddler and I pop over to my sister’s house to see if her cousin wants to play. He is, but he’s in a weird mood, as it goes with toddlers, and so we mope around the garden for a minute before my daughter decides to invite herself inside the house. I say to her, “Cousin doesn’t want to play today. Do you want to go home and see what daddy’s doing?”
“No!” She protests, pointing at Aunty’s house. “In?!”
So we invite ourselves in and that’s not too bad because we often visit each other, but I cringe inwardly as my daughter takes my hand and drags me to the kitchen, saying, “Bowl! Bowl!” Read more
I’ve been thinking a bit about Jesus’ instruction to us to have faith like a child. All my growing years, I understood that to be blind faith, believing everything – without question.
Kids will believe just about anything. I tell my daughter that Mr. Moon is happy today because the crescent moon looks like a smile. And why shouldn’t I? She soaks the story in, and waves gorgeously at the moon, who in return smiles back at her adoringly. When she’s a tiny bit older, I’ll undoubtedly tell her that Mr. Moon is actually a great big Cheshire Cat, grinning widely at the whole world. And why shouldn’t I? There is enough time later on in her life to face realism and learn to balance her beautiful imagination with cold hard facts. Read more
I heard today about a woman, only slightly older than me, who is gradually going blind. She has a disease that is causing her vision to narrow, resulting in tunnel vision, and eventually total blindness.
She’s apparently always wanted to travel to Morocco. So this year, her family are taking her to see this magical place, before its too late for her.
Do we really have to face blindness before we go see what our hearts burn with desire to see? Read more
…Things I would tell a younger me…
Dear Young Lover,
I want to tell you something about love, marriage and life. Sit with me, let’s talk.
I hear you say, “What could you tell me? You’re only 32 years old!” Even at 32, Young Lover, years of sunshine and smiles have begun to etch faint crowfeet beneath my eyes, and years of frustration and crying have begun to carve deep furrows between my brows. Sit now, let’s talk. Read more
I’ve been battling the blues lately. Nothing serious, just a week or so of feeling…. kinda misplaced. I can’t say why. Poor sleep, stress, not enough exercise. Oh, and the fact that I am just a human being, after all.
In a moment of possible self-pity (hey, I said I was human) I was about to Read more