love – the great equaliser

I was wandering aimlesly around blogville, dipping into this and that. Not really sure what I was trying to accomplish apart from avoiding stuff. Time for a list:

Avoiding

a shower – I am too cold, the house is too cold and the water is too cold

assignment  – I have completed unit 12 and need to start the homework but I am too cold

black mould – because it is summer, my house gets damp and the black mould multiplies, four rooms and counting

painting – bottom coat is the wrong colour, the strokes are fine, the texture is what I wanted but it is pink – I have tried to think of it as pale purple or purply-whitey-red but it is pink.

moving – because I am so cold and the laptop warm I can’t seem to make the effort to move.

As part of this dipping into other people’s ideas and random thoughts, I came across Platonick’s ode to a long knife. I felt really sorry for this long knife, it was different, it didn’t fit in, it was odd and it was under attack from Mark. We are all unique, yet some of us share commonality: we are male or female, we are adult or child, we are clean (showered) or smelly (unshowered) etc. Where there is a choice or a sliding scale we choose, or the group chooses where to place us: we are old or young, we are thin or fat, we are tall or short, society places us within categories. So I am young if sitting in a day care centre or nursing home but old if sitting in a kindergarten class. I am tall compared to my husband and short compared to my sons.

Sometimes the groups we belong to have been there so long like family, school, employment that we assume our roles naturally. How we behave in new groups, where we are placed and how we are placed depends on who influences the group, whether we as individuals have a say in the dynamics of the group.

If you are a set of short knives with one long knife, that knife is either going to be the protagonist or antagonist of the group – it cannot melt into the background because it stands out, it is different. It is possible that the short knives might run it out of town because of it’s difference. Or they might embrace the difference, look up to the long knife and expect more from it because it is taller.

My family is very shallow, it matters how tall you are, how thin you are, how many wrinkles you have. Why? because my family in the main is tall, thin and wrinkle free. Enter stage left – me – short, dumpy and the beginnings of wrinkles. Not one to lead, I became the scapegoat, the one on whom all was blamed and on whom I accepted the blame. So I am a short knife in the long knife drawer, useful when no other knife is available, but thrust to the back most of the time.

Fast forward to my life – I am who I am. I have weaknesses (hating showers) and strengths (liking study). I have good and bad bits. I am loved. I love. I mess up but I stick around to clean up the mess. I help other people clean up too. I can never achieve the things important to my biological family and I don’t try. I love them. I love the differences in me because the Lord gave them to me for a reason so I could seek out and help those who also see themselves as different.

Although we are all different, we are in God’s eyes equal, equal in love. That love, the awesome, wonderful, beautiful love that surrounds us, that envelops us, that waves down, around and within us. That love is……

divine

2 Corinthians 13:14
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

John 16:27
No, the Father himself loveyou because you have loved me and have believed that I came fromGod.

Jude 1:21
Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

cruisin4disaster

Looking back he couldn’t think of one thing that led him to rifle through her handbag. It was a number of things, or a culmination of things that brought him to that point. Afterwards, of course, he felt justified because he found what he suspected.

In this age of electronic messaging and texting, only his wife would still write and receive letters. And more damning for her, she kept them. Well she kept this one. The one that was burning a hole in his pocket and his heart. The one that explained the changes in her.

She had grown, not physically, although she seemed to take up more space, her personality had grown. She wasn’t by any a stretch a shrunken woman but he thought of her as contained and since she lost weight, petite. Now she was larger than life, laughing out loud, a twinkle in her eye and a skip in her step. She had stopped arguing, that was it, the one thing that started him searching through the house.

She had been on vacation with her sister, on a cruise to the Caribbean. This was normal, she went every year, he hated to fly, they went on a driving tour in the UK or Ireland in September. He was three hours late picking her up at the airport, he expected a fly in his ear all the way home. Instead he was told, she went for a coffee and read her book, no worries. No worries, she said, that wasn’t his wife speaking, he appreciated it at first, the fact that he could do no wrong but after a week or so he found himself pondering on the why. Why the change? Surely the laid-back Jamaican attitude had not overwhelmed her and taken her over.

It took him over a week to search the house, he went into every room, ferreting in every nook and cranny until her handbag was the only place left to be scrutinised. He felt so low, going through her things, he would never ordinarily go in her handbag, not even to borrow a fiver. He would always ask. Maybe that is his problem, maybe that’s why she went elsewhere.

Stop that, he told himself. Yes he was broken-hearted, but he had been broken before, all the babies they had conceived that never got past ten weeks, each time that killed him. Each time it killed them both, just a little. Maybe it was inevitable that with all the elephants that lived in their lounge, one of them was bound to want out, it was so crowded.

Knowing your wife slept with someone else and acting upon the knowing, he discovered over the next few days were entirely different scenarios. In his head he screamed and shouted and plaintively cried what about me. On the surface though as with every other issue they faced, he remained calm.

When the days spilled over into a week he made a decision, he was going to fight for his marriage, he was going to fight for his wife, he was going to fight. He started the next morning, bringing her breakfast in bed, not that anything was ever resolved over a slice of toast, but it was a start. He wasn’t going to bend over backwards and become a doormat, but he was going to do little surprising gestures to bring her back into his bed. There was no need to dwell on the past, no need to talk about her indiscretion, maybe next year he might go on holiday with her, to China or India. 

Maybe all he needed was a wake-up call that marriages are fragile and need nurturing.

His wife rang her sister on the day of the breakfast to tell her the plan was working. “Thanks sis, you are the most fabulous sister in the entire world. To listen to me moan on about him and the marriage. Thank you for all your suggestions, I thought writing the letter was overdoing it but it seems to be having an effect. I just wish we could talk, you know really talk, like me and you do. Maybe this will be the start, there’s a herd of elephants need shifting, love you.”

I love

I love the way oil paint moves on canvas

I love the way flowers turn to the sun

I love the way grass smells after it has been cut – sweet smell of summer

I love to fill pages in my journal

I love to write bad poetry

I love watching the second hand move on the clock

I love to run, I wish my back did too

I love to jump in puddles, feeling the water soak right through

I love shuffling through leaves and sliding in snow

i love to cook spicy mexican food with refried beans and guacamole

I love to clean my toilet seat – not many can say that

I love to iron freshly dried clothes and smell the sweetness of the wind

I love watching the minute hand move on the clock

I love to play aeroplanes with children

I love to see my novel develop

I love to see my snaps on line

I love to laugh and cry at life

I love to eat veggies straight from the tunnel

I love to make jam and pickles and chutneys forever

I love watching the hour hand move on the clock

Because it means I’m alive

Because it means

I choose life

Because it means

death is beaten

Because it means

I am me

junctionriding

Acts 20:24

 

But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.

What do you do when you have messed up, when you have made mistakes, when you have veered off the course mapped out for you?

When dualism comes into the mind and stays there.

I lived for many, many years dual lives. Inside, in the core of me was a totally different person to the one presented to the world. To get that person out took some amazing healing at the hands of the Lord.

I changed, the world can see that, even I in moments of candour can see I am different, as a child of God I am not the same as I was.

Although I changed, the world did not, I still had the same relatives, the same relationships, the same husband and the same children. They did not change. 

Anyone who is into managing change in organisations will tell you change for changes sake will not be the most aggressively fought. Change that completely transforms is different. That change is rallied against, strikes are held, arguments pursued, the change is undermined at every turn and yet the undermining is part of the group dynamics of the organisation. It is an allowed concession.

That is where I feel I am: in an allowed concession, in a lay -by on the road. Ahead is a junction, it is not behind, I have not already turned, I have been given the option of sitting for a while to contemplate the next move.

I truly believe that I want and need to stay on the road mapped out for me, but the new rules make it harder. There is more onus on me doing the right thing. It is like I have been on the baby slopes up to now, there has been ropes either side so I couldn’t fall off or veer off course. 

Now the ropes are gone, it is truly me that has to choose, to choose life {yes} over death {no} 

So I sit/stand/squat/go down on my knees/ jump/skip/be still/ in this lay-by, looking ahed at the junction, praying for strength, praying for the Lord to be strong in me so I can remain on the only road I want or need to be on.

Across from the lay-by is the havoc I have already wreaked, without trying, without thinking, devastation has already appeared. If I choose the wrong path this hurricane of vandalism will increase to dramatic and traumatic proportions not just in me but in the people around me. I do not want to be this person. I have, if I think back over the years, I have met this person in many places, in many times. Some times I would’ve been jealous, would’ve aped her personality, but mostly I would’ve felt sorry for her, empathy and sympathy at her empty, shallow, lonely life. I seriously with all my heart and all my soul and all my mind do not want to be that person and I thank God for the insight he gave me recently – how easy it is to be that person but how vehemently I am opposed to being that person.

The junction is ahead, I must return to my journey soon, I choose life in you, Lord.

newsday

She was crying.

Not pretty tears, red swollen eyes, her nose full of snot, running freely as the tears.

She sat staring out of the window, oblivious to the world going on outside. People were beginning to get up and out for the daily grind. Mr Boyson was having trouble starting his motorbike directly opposite, his cursing, slamming and banging going unheard or unseen. Martha and Martin the twins from number 23 were gabbing on at a hundred miles an hour as they swung their bags and shuffled through autumn leaves.

Doris sniffled and wiped snot on her sleeve, grabbing her handkerchief too late for the slug like trail on her clothes but she dried her eyes. “Well this will never do,” she exclaimed to herself and put the telegram back in its envelope and into her apron pocket.

“Clarence, I am putting on the kettle for tea. Are you coming down today, love?” She spoke up the stairs hoping her husband would hear her. She didn’t want to take a tray up today. In the kitchen she straightened the envelope and put it leaning against the salt cellar.

She drew the black out curtains in the parlour and put the gas masks away, hung up in the cloakroom, she wished this damn war would end before anyone else’s son was killed. She sobbed again, before shaking her head and turning to brew the tea.