revisiting toes

Hebrews 4:6
Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go inbecause of their disobedience,


If I sit very still I can pretend there is nothing wrong, I don’t have pain and I don’t need to do anything about it. If I stay very quiet even the little grunts of discomfort will not be heard.

I am in a quandary. The perplexing questions are not pain related at all, or indeed doctor or hospital related. The questions are: “why now?” and “how could I be so stupid?”

These questions have come up many times in my life. The huge electric bill – why now? The failing of an exam – how could I be so stupid?

Two years and some weeks ago I was in similar pain, same pain different foot. The pain became a blessing. I became still, possibly for the first time if not for a long time, I became still. I regrouped.

Yesterday the resignation form came in the post and in the evening I broke my toe. Thinking back to that time two years ago, it seems like a lifetime ago. I got up and continued, now I am inclined to sit back and rest.

I need the xray to confirm, it is bruised possibly broken, hurts the same as the rotten abscess in my tooth and the ache in my side. Laughingly I am falling apart, bits are breaking off, falling out and festering.

Joyfully I embrace the toe thing, what else can I do. It is what it is, I will learn from this escapade just like I have learned so much since May about how grace is seen in the unlikeliest of places, about where mercy is found and that the love of God transcends all human ideas of boundless.



Communion again has risen in my thoughts. It was in a conversation about sacraments. This ritualisation of things we do each day as mature Christians, we break bread with our families, we thank the Lord for all he has done, in creating the opportunity for relationship with God that we had lost due to sin. The curtain in the Temple was torn in two, ripped asunder so that we could have direct relationship with God on a one-to-one basis. 

Why then do we need to go to a church, once a day, once a week, once a month, once a year, on Christmas and Easter to receive Communion? If we are strong in our faith, if we are connected to God because we are “being” a child of God, why do we need to partake in a ritual that has hurt people in the past? In the “being” we are reading our Bibles, we are studying God’s word, we are meeting in fellowship, we are worshiping, we are praising, we are praying, we are a grateful people, a thank full people. A people on whom grace mercy and love have been exuberantly poured like the smashing of an alabaster urn of perfume we are soaked in grace, mercy and love.

So this communion thing? I have a friend who was messed up by a priest whilst she was a Eucharistic Minister, as a young adult. Another friend was systematically abused around the time of their Holy Communion and that messes up the whole communion thing for them. For these people and many more Communion does not communing with God.

When the pastor breaks the bread at the front of the church or meeting place and says the ancient words that Jesus said in the cenacle, when the bread is shared amongst the people there are invisible lines of connection drawn – from the pastor to the bread, from the bread to the people and between each person. We are connected to the bread, to Christ, to God and to each other. It is a corporate act that we engage in to come together in love, love for the Lord, for each other, for every one on the planet, Jesus was and is and will be the living bread.

Partaking in the Lord’s Supper is also a public declaration that your heart is soft, that you hold no grudges, there is no bitterness in your heart, no hardeness. I have chosen not to take part, sometimes it is because I have already taken communion earlier in the day, or I will be doing later in the day. Sometimes it is because I have been in a place of sin that I haven’t yet asked for forgiveness. Sometimes it is because I have been hurt and need to heal that wound quietly before it festers into an offence.

When you take part in communion are you doing it because the person next to you will see you? Or because of a deep conviction of connectedness? Sometimes a pastor will give time at the beginning of communion for people to reflect on what the ritual is about, a meditation with images depicting the undeserving love we have been given, some silence.

We are connected, connected by faith to one and another, connected by grace through faith to one another and to the Lord. A web of invisible threads encompassing the globe and directed toward heaven. A beautiful carcophany of threads, in our worship ascending.


Do we go through the motions of worship in order to impress other people? Or do we worship with our attention directed toward God? Do we focus on ourselves—either our successes or our sins—and forget to turn our gaze on Jesus? The Lord’s Supper is intended to help us lift our eyes to the Bread of Life who has invited us to participate in His body.



fiddler blues


Alfred Henry  was a fiddler, he couldn’t keep still. For forty five years he had fidgeted, for twenty eight years he fiddled. It was difficult to describe him without mention of the child catcher from Vulgaria. It wasn’t that he looked like Sir Robert Helpmann, he was bald on top with a ring of ginger hair. His nose did protruded like the vile baddie and his lips were a thinly drawn line. A slim man resembling a long length of snot dangling from a child’s nose, he was not well liked.

In the evenings he played violin in the window of his apartment that overlooked the playground. He serenely led the bow backward and forward over the strings creating beautiful music, he favoured Mahler, he smiled each time a child heard the notes carried on the wind to the swings. They would turn and point at Alfie then continue swinging, or run to the slide.

Alfie worked as a cashier at the local “SupaSaver” hypermarket, he had started in the stock department, filling up the shelves with processed, packaged foods, so full of additives they were probably atomic bomb proof. A couple of years into his employment a new manager came and with a clean sweep moved everyone from their comfort zone to the next station. In Alfie’s case this meant a move to the tills, dealing with people, he was not best pleased. He made the best of it, robbing a bit here, stealing a little there, enough to make it worthwhile without it being enough to arouse suspicion.

Alfie had aspirations, a long term plan that involved a motorcycle, no not just a motorcycle but a Harley Davidson and a trek across America. In his wardrobe he had a garment bag and each day after his shift he would drop in whatever dollars he had procured that day. He played the violin for the same amount of time, ten dollars equal to 10 minutes in Alfie’s head. 

Unfortunately for Alfie he never made his trip, he fiddled in another way and a vigilante mob attacked unmercifully till he died, a thinly drawn smile on his lips. The money, when found was anonymously donated to the playground fund.




She couldn’t face church. She couldn’t face all those concerned looks, the sympathy, the empathy, the pity, the “I know how you feel”, the “let me tell you about my pain”. She just could not be amongst people who cared.


Instead she drove to the lake. 


Silence isn’t silent at the lake, the waves gently break onto the stones, Choughs and Wood Warblers sing to each other, grasshoppers and crickets make their moves. There is something quieting in the non-silence of the lake.


Her breathing forms a pattern, first designed thousands and thousands of years before, nature calming human. She cries out to God in the stillness, in the silence of her wrenched heart, she roars her name and the simply monosyllabic question “Why?”


She sits on a rock staring at the lake, her tears fall silently, splashing onto jeans. The dog appears suddenly, knocking her off the granite perch.


“Oh, sorry, she’s a bit clumsy, let me help you up, oh you’ve been crying, we have intruded, I’m sorry, we’ll leave you. Oh you’re Sylvie Breakman. I am sorry for your loss. Would you like to talk?”


The man had appeared as quickly as the dog that she could now see was an over-exuberant chocolate brown Labrador about a year old, still full of puppiness. The guy was talking, she heard very little, sorry something something sorry talk. Did she want to talk? She hadn’t spoken to anyone in five days.


The funeral had been on Thursday, two days after it was called in the operating theatre. It was called, that was how the insensitive doctor had told them. But maybe she needed that coldness to pierce the absolute stony silence in her heart, as it melted, as she melted into a mushy puddle.

For twenty one years she had been nursemaid, nurse, maid, food provider, medicine giver, physiotherapist, therapist, speech therapist, taxi, ambulance, so many roles but mostly mother, mostly love giver.


Her daughter, Elise, was famous locally as the girl who could. The doctors had given her zero chance of a life but Elise and Sylvie played by a different tune, they sang in harmony in life and loved living. 


Sylvie hadn’t just lost a daughter but had lost her job. It was called. So she sat on a rock grieving instead of being with people and found one guy she could talk to. She even got offered a job that she might consider. First though she must go to church and meet all her friends, all Elise’ friends, all the friends of the family and be comforted, each new day will bring new joy, she knew but still she grieved.


all-in trusting


I put no trust in my bow, 
    my sword does not bring me victory; Psalm 44:6


A soldier is lamenting that they don’t trust their weapons. No, what the guy is really saying is bows break and swords rust but the word of the Lord is unchanging. He can go to war and use the tool of his trade but he will only be successful by giving all the trust to God. Not a small bit left over on Friday tea time.

This soldier is “all – in” I love that phrase – all-in.

All in, I think of skipping rhymes and jumping in to skip with a long line of girls. There was always one girl so enthusiastic that the skipping stopped usually around May or June if we were skipping the months of the year. Enthusiasm

All-in, I think of a jump when your whole body has to work together to land safely. For humans – so hard, the gymnastics at the olympics showed points wee lost for non-perfect landing. Cats can fall and somehow right themselves within the fall so they walk away without a backward glance

All-in, a cake mixture where all the ingredients are thrown in together, stirred, thrown in the oven and it still rises. The sponge has a less even texture and doesn’t rise as much as a sponge that has been slaved over. This is a gung-ho cake, a jolly hockey sticks cake, enthusiasm winning over critical acclaim

All-in, me and you, jumping into the unknown. Yes Lord whatever, wherever, without a backward glance, jumping into something. I am all-in to this life, this new creation

How could I not be? 

How can I not be eternally grateful for the changes wrought in me? How can I not jump up and down in joyful abandon at what the Lord has done for me? 

I am ALL-IN whatever you require, wherever you want me, I am there. 

Who would have envisaged wallflower me, background baby, behind not in front of the camera, me, jumping up and down, shouting and roaring, all in I am all in. My entire life, my body, my mind, my heart and my soul are all there for the Lord, ready to be used however he wants.

*In researching this piece I discovered “all-in” is a gambling term. I don’t gamble, can’t gamble, must not gamble but I still like the phrase. So it needs modification because being all-in with God is not a gamble, it is not a bet with odds and chips. It is a certainty, it is assurance, it is love.


more rain please


It’s raining, again. Global warming is on the news, but, here it rains. Today the rain is proper wet rain, the kind that fell in Key West in May on the one day I was there. Douglas wrote about a rain cloud that followed this one guy because he thought he was a god. I feel like the rain follows me.

Hollywood likes rain, it is used to make romantic trysts, to darken a mood, as an atmospheric effect. I felt like I was in a movie moment today, I had one of those times when the answer to a question leans a person to one journey and a different answer leads to a different route.

I got my answer and it wasn’t no, so it can rain all day everyday and I will  dance through it, I will splash in the puddles because my heart is on fire and onward is the only way to go.

A turn in the road today and a rainbow reminded me of a life gone and a new life born. There is a place, an island of hope, an island of peace, that is within. There is a man who can bring hope and peace with love, grace and mercy, that man is my Lord.

The Lord reign in me, over me, over all the earth and I am so grateful for the changes made in me.



Clap your hands, all you nations;
    shout to God with cries of joy.

 For the Lord Most High is awesome, 
    the great King over all the earth.

He subdued nations under us,

    peoples under our feet.

He chose our inheritance for us,

    the pride of Jacob, whom he loved.[b]

 God has ascended amid shouts of joy, 
    the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets. 

Sing praises to God, sing praises;

    sing praises to our King, sing praises.
 For God is the King of all the earth; 
    sing to him a psalm of praise.

 God reigns over the nations;
    God is seated on his holy throne. 
 The nobles of the nations assemble
    as the people of the God of Abraham,
for the kings[c] of the earth belong to God; 
    he is greatly exalted.




who am I when no one is looking?

But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

A Lamp on a Stand

 “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.  For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open

Luke 8:15-17


Over the past while I have expanded my horizons again, as my mother would say I have become less provincial. It was seeing my name in print at that started me off thinking it would not be the worst thing in the world for people to be able to read my stories.


Earlier this year I put a blanket ban on my Minister from saying my name in a positive light from the pulpit. I didn’t want the limelight, I didn’t want people to know. The first time I heard my lyrics being sung I was embarrassed. I wanted to hide under a barrel. I wanted my light to hide under a barrel. Which meant that the light the Lord was using in me was being hidden too.


At the same time in my provincial life I have had to stay quiet. I have wanted to write and the urge got stronger this week. BUT. It would be a rant. It would be personal and it would be WRONG. Have felt so many emotions this week from weepy to fleeting anger to compassion. Each time it started someplace bad and ended in compassion.


I have changed, I really have, I feel love and compassion to this person. The vengeful/ revengeful Susan of old is gone. I couldn’t muster an adequate attack plan in my imagination. It kept coming back as empathy for the situation the person is in.


 I was asked “what would Jesus do?” and after thinking about it for some time I thought Jesus had more important things to get on with than bother about provincial in fighting. He needed to tell us about the Kingdom. So taking his lead I carried on, doing the things I do, saying the things I say and thinking the things I think. BECAUSE. I am the same, the same on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, the same on Sundays. My heart is soft every day, every night, all day, all night.


I am so grateful to the Lord for the grace and mercy bestowed on me, He wants me, He really, really with sugar on the top wants me and I cannot help but smile about that, grin about that. The Lord loves me and is not concerned with the provincial mind I had, He wants me to use my T.A.R.D.I.S. brain for the betterment of the Kingdom.


There is a balance, a tension between self worth, unworthy, worthless and worthy. I was worthless, I knew it and everyone else knew it except God, He knew I was worth something to Him. Giddy as a schoolgirl on a trip, that is how He makes me feel. Joyous, glad, happy. So if we are talking about worthy: I am as worthy as anyone else. If we are talking unworthy, I am as unworthy as everyone else.


Although my name will be in print, although my name will become known throughout the world for my genre of writing, I will not see my name; my name is irrelevant, I will see God’s hand in the work. I will see God.


Although my collaboration with P.F. will result in our names being known for worship songs and the rest of that project. I will not see our hand in that area but God alone who gifted us with words and music, and prompted us to begin.


I cannot put the mute button on, or turn down the colour or the sound, to do so would disrespect my Lord and merciful Saviour. So onward to purple hair, funky clothes and a heart that is open. Open to the Lord, open to compassion, open to remain soft for eternity.