I took this photo this afternoon, as the sun was dipping toward the horizon.
It was a rare moment of peace, wedged between other moments heavy-laiden by noise, dirty nappies and projectile vomit, a blaring TV, and the general, constant cacophony of family-life chaos.
And so I sat, in precious silence, and stared at this sky, my spirit pleading to the heavens to replenish my soul with its beauty. Read more
I am in my early thirties. It’s a wondrous time, being over thirty. Forgive me for saying it this way, but when I reached thirty, I quickly developed an intolerance for bullshit.
My age suddenly became a stark reality. For the first time, I felt like a real adult, and realized how responsible I am for my remaining years on this earth.
Part of of this realization encompassed the area of friendships and relationships. I looked around and realized that I know a lot of people. I joke around with a lot of people and hang out with them at church and the like. I realized that less than a handful of those people actually knew me, and when I examined myself, I hardly knew them either. Not really.
When you are a child, you are shoved into school and soccer clubs and forced into circles of other kids that inevitably become your friends. In your twenties, a lot of those friendships fade away, and it’s a disheartening thing to go through. Suddenly you find yourself, thirty-something, feeling quite friendless.
And you think to yourself, “I’m a nice person. I’m funny and friendly and kind-hearted. Heck, I’m hilarious! What’s wrong with me?” Read more
Sharing this song again.
I wouldn’t even call it a ‘song’. A musical scroll, if you will, inscribed with multiple spiritual messages, each one like a fruit waiting to be plucked at the right time, at harvest time.
Today, as I listen again (it’s been on repeat for two days), the words tease me:
Do you see what I see?
Do you hear what I hear?
Do you know what I know?
Do you want what I want?
It’s such… such a perfect day…
I listened to this song somewhat dreamily as I drove to work under a stodgy blanket of grey clouds. The day itself seemed grey. The tarmac on which I drove, the sand bars along the side of the road, other cars racing past, concrete bridges whizzing overhead… all grey. Only the grass remained green and against all this grey, it looked like wild neon flailing in the wind.
As it goes on grey days, my thoughts turned introspective and quiet. What is a perfect day, Chris Martin? What are you singing about? When last did you have such… such a perfect day? Your song sounds so ethereal, I wonder if you really have had a perfect day… ever? Read more
I was recently posed with the question by a bit of a deep thinker that I’ve had opportunity to have long discussions with. The question was: Is God actually perfect, or did he make a mistake by giving us all that free will?
On the surface, claiming that God is not perfect is a big statement. And it bothered me a lot. It kept me awake that night, and many nights that followed. Read more
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