A funny thing happened on the way to …

Original Cinema Quad Poster – Movie Film Posters

It is no secret I like old black & white movies, English kitchen sink movies, Ealing comedies and all the rest, but…

I could never bring myself to watch Carry on films or films of that ilk.

Original Cinema Quad Poster - Movie Film Posters


This is not a confession piece that I am now an avid Carry On watcher. But I have begun to reflect and what it is in those movies that I find unpalatable and yet Hot Fuzz I could watch every day for a year.


I was reminded again yesterday of “A Taste of Honey” and that inevitably got me to the The Lonliness of the Long Distance Runner.”

23t11g7          loneliness of the

There is something in both those movies that is seen in people today; ‘there’s no point,’ ‘why bother,’

Because if we don’t bother, if we don’t care, then who will. I am struggling my way through BBC3’s documentaries this week. They are so hard to watch, I am having more nightmares than usual, but, I remember the nightmares I had after watching the above two films:

People with dead eyes or no eyes having a complete “Clockwork Orange” frenzy – just because they can. A lawlessness in every aspect of their lives. I am going to Ealing Comedy myself out of these nightmares with “Passport to Pimlico” on top of the list.Unknown-2

For any house owner who wants nightmares, may I suggest a foray into the mind of Grahame Greene and his short story turned into a drama, “The Destructors.”


Having said all that, there is hope for humanity, dead eyes, vacant eyes, pedestrian living can be transformed into real living. All a person has to do is turn to the Lord and He will take care of the rest.

A funny thing did happen on the way to the film forum, this week, I looked at my daily verse:

I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws.

Psalm 119:30 NIVUK

I have hope, because I have made that choice. I stand firm in my faith of the risen King and because of that – vacant eyes have become engaged.

Praise the Lord!

data protection

“Good Morning,” the clerk at the desk said and he smiled warmly.

“Hi, I mean, good morning, where am I?” She moved forward a little, feeling strange in a strange kind of way.

“This is processing,” he replied and continued, “just for the record, name?”

“Jade Willow”

“We have no one of that name for today, is that your name?” He frowned as he spoke, put down his pen and looked up burning the insides of her own eyes.

“Well it’s the name I go by, everyone knows me by that name and I guy I once met on Dursey Island he sculpted a jade willow, just for me,” smiling wistfully of times gone by.

“This is processing, it is for your own protection, we must have your baptismal names, what is your full name?”

“Where am I again? ‘Processing,’ what does that even mean? And why protection? Seriously, you seem like a really nice guy, love the glasses by the way, real funky, but, what is the bigger place, outside of processing?”

The clerk coughed, and touched his glasses. A little blush appeared on his cheeks, he coughed again. “I need a little water, could you wait in there?” He pointed to a door with the words, Waiting Room carved into the wood.

Jade put her fingers into the carving, thinking of her husband and his skilful hands. This workmanship was on par with his. Lovely she thought and opened the door. A man in a suit stood to attention, “good morning, ma’am, how may I assist you this morning? We have fruit, infusions, tea, coffee. Although the tea’s not up to much.”

“Where are you from? Is that a Cork accent?”

“Why yes, ma’am, I was born in Cork City just below the Shandon Bells.”

“Could I have a coffee, just black with three spoons of sugar please.”

She looked around the room, comfy sofa, pretty pictures, a small table with flowers. Just like any waiting room anywhere, except something was different. She sat down in the sofa, it seemed to engulf her in the most beautiful hug and she sighed, a sigh of peace. Well whatever this is, it is very nice, she thought.

She chatted to the guy, got his life story, told him where he had gone wrong and what he should have done, the way she always would with anyone. She never understood that; why people didn’t heed her wisdom.

A buzzer sounded.

“That’s for you.”

Okay, thanks and she got up out of the sofa. Well she tried but halfway through the easy movement she realised and that changed everything.

In the office, the clerk had been joined by another.

“This is the woman.”

“Please take a seat,” the second clerk said. Again there was a genuine smile.

I like this place, she thought.

“Now, full name for the records,” clerk number two asked.

“Jade Willow.”

“Is that the name you were born with?”

“No, my married name.”

“Is that the name you were baptised?”

“No but I don’t go by that name anymore”

“I’m sorry, miss, I mean ma’am, we cannot allow you past processing without your baptismal name and birth surname. It isn’t allowed. We have rules, data protection laws. We must follow protocol, it is for your own protection.”

Jade sat up straight, breathed in deeply and spoke, “Listen mateys, my body got up out of a sofa, it walked in here, I have two feet, two legs. I know where I lost them. There was a car accident three years ago and I have been using a wheelchair ever since. But I walked in here. I know where I am. You can call it processing if you want. But I know your boss and he knows me. He knows me as Jade Willow, he knows my name because he whispered it to me when I asked him to be my boss. When he held me as I rested in his arms, he knew who he was holding. So take your data and stuff it. Is that the door I go through? Right!”

“Yes,” clerk number one answered.

Jade Willow opened the door and entered into the arms of her Lord.

perforated pages of a path

Wednesday Reflection

The sermon on Sunday week was based on the passage of Jesus returning to his birth town and how he was treated there. (Luke 4:14-29)

There were many ideas discussed but the one thing that talked to me was travelling light for two reasons.

The first thing that struck me was my present vacation. I had packed the van with many boxes containing photography equipment, painting supplies, a small box of clothes, a box of books, my bible study bag, my handbag and on the way picked up a box of food supplies. I was not travelling light. I was burdened down by supplies. And as I sat there I saw what I truly needed for a vacation with the Lord: my heart – open, warm and ready to be changed.

In contrast is the preparation for travelling to Bible College in September. For that it is all about how to lighten the load, taking as little baggage as possible.

The contrast is stark; for this week – that has been set aside for more than a year, was exactly that – a vacation. Originally it was a week of questioning, wrangling and wrestling because I knew that the path I had been on – I was not ready for and I think I wanted to understand how I could know what the path was and why to a certain extent but not in myself be ready for taking those next steps. Thankfully that week of anguish was taken out of my hands and so I aimed at vacationing with the Lord.

But I have held a tension since it, the path, has entered a time of interruption: Had I disrespected the Lord by not ploughing on regardless but acquiescing to what I thought was the right decision.

And that is why I filled the week with meetings and painting to deflect from the true purpose of this time; time with the Lord. I was avoiding the time, and I am really good at avoiding.

So as I sat listening to the sermon on Sunday, I prayed to the Lord. I unburdened the boxes and bags at the earliest time, I divested myself of the technology and I sat on mountaintops, I sat by the sea, I sat in the middle of the wild scenery of West Cork and I vacationed with the Lord.

Be still and know that I am God, as the Psalmist wrote in the middle of their storm. I don’t feel I am in a storm but I do have questions, I do want to know how the Lord wants me to be on this path of interruption. I was asking for words of encouragement, that I was doing the work He wanted. I was asking for words to express this journey to others. I was asking a whole pile of stuff.

And I got some answers, not all, but some. There is a surer clarity that I can work with, there will be moving, there will be staying still, there will be many more challenges and I will be given the skills to rise to them. The word given to me months ago still resounds around my head as something to aim for as I continue being open to the changes.

There is the image of the retired Minister who over and over patted my arm whilst affirming me and challenging me to believe it for myself.

There is the image of a smiling, happy, contented woman, where there had been stress, sadness and worry when she heard I’d be sticking around for a while.

And today (two weeks after writing this piece) there is the amber paradox. So many facets, so many juxtaposed traits, three perhaps even four people living in one body, all vying for top dog. And I think I am getting a much clearer picture of what this walk I have been called to means, today as I feel there is a piece of my life missing and wondering how I am going to fill those empty hours each week. There is also work to be done, there is admin, a couple of visits, organising and supporting, writing. As I privately grieve, I must then take a deep breath and plunge out into the world and not bring my burden with me like a sad sack. Time to shake it off…