Come Dwell

Lord of Lords

Come dwell with us

As we gather here

Come dwell with us

~~~

Not just for a minute

Not just for a sec

Come dwell with us O Lord

~~~

Give us rest

As we hang out here

Give us peace

As we settle here

~~~

Dwell with us O Lord

Dwell with us O Lord

Come dwell with us this day

resting vs busy

tantrum

So often we get this so wrong.

What is it about our lives that we don’t take the time to smell the roses? (we even call that smell the coffee now.)

These are a few scenarios I encountered today, there is no judgement, it is a chronically first world issue. We all get it wrong – just to different degrees.

A toddler was having an epic tantrum in the supermarket but it was a holiday so both parents were present and one lifted the child and took him out of the situation. I was in the queue at the checkout and engaged with the lady in front about the child because I have been there in a supermarket with a toddler inconsolable because I couldn’t afford whatever it was they wanted. I endured the looks of sympathy, the shaking heads, the angry heads. But I needed to stay in the situation because otherwise I was setting myself up for years of misery.

A toddler was in a buggy with his parent sitting outside a café. The parent was engaged in conversation with a friend, the child tried to get the attention of the parent and so the parent passed their phone to them.

Another toddler was watching a video on an ipad.

Our toddlers are getting busy – when they could be resting and they are learning it from us.

We spend our time on our phones, we collect emails constantly, we reply to text messages instantly, we play games when we are not doing any of the other things. We are always doing something, if not two or three things at a time. We juggle our time as though we had control over it and we get tired, so very, very tired.

There is another way of living, a different way, a way that turns busy upside down and changes everything. We may not be toddlers but we have to stop. Toddlers have little control on their choices, but we do.

We can choose life with God, we can choose a life of living and living well. When we ask the Lord come dwell in us, we can being to breathe in a restful manner. Sitting in a comfy chair, opening our bible and reading God’s living word, opening our hearts to the inbreathing of the Spirit changing our thought processes, changing our heart processes as we fix our eyes on Jesus and become as we grow closer and closer to the Lord and more and more like Jesus.

It is to him we look when we investigate how to balance a very busy life with a restful spiritual life.

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.

adolescent angst

in your house I am different

in your house I am chained

in your house I have no freedom

in your house I feel dead.

 

out there is freedom

out there is love

out there is life, real living life

out there I will go

 

but for now don’t ask me

how I am? Life sucks

what I am doing? I’m existing

where I am going? till I’m gone, let me go

Streams of Sanctuary

The man screamed with all that was within, “sanctuary,” but it came out as a barely audible whisper. He was spent.

Minutes earlier he had hauled his broken frame on to the rocks.

Hours earlier he, alongside his fellow passengers had jumped into the sea as the boat capsized; deliberately scuttled with eight hundred people on board.

Days earlier he was running; running to freedom, running from persecution.

Weeks earlier he had opened the door of his busy surgery, just one more day of treating the usual ailments in the middle-class suburb of Aleppo.

The rocks were like the most comfortable mattress he had ever slept on, better than the Sheraton in Dubai at the last conference he attended. He lay, fighting sleep; a losing battle.

Later, awakening with a little strength restored, he tried to stand but the twisted, knarled left leg refused. He had walked with it, ran with it and swam with it but it had needed treatment days ago. It was broken in at least three places where boots of the terrorists had hit. He was only trying to help, to be a good neighbour, he didn’t ask the religion of his patients and they sat together in the waiting room. But gossip spreads and one person let out they had seen a bible in the surgery and the men came.

Khalid shuffled his body along the rocks aiming for the tufts of dune he thought he could see. His eyes were still slits from days of intense heat, from the beating he was concerned something was detached. He tried to think of them as ‘the terrorists’ because to bring their names into his mind caused bile to rise in his stomach. But he knew them, he knew their fathers well, he played chess with them in the cool evenings whilst sipping mint tea; he knew them well.

Slowly, the determination that had brought him this far brought him to the edge of the reeds and grass, a small stream gushed its way to the sea and he laughed: Streams of Sanctuary.

He drank water from the stream steadily until he was sure his kidneys were working and worked with the reeds and grasses to construct makeshift splints for his leg. He knew if he got as far as trees in the distance he could make a stick that would enable him to walk to the nearest village or town. As he drank from the stream he thought of the living water, how a girl had rushed into his surgery one morning to explain to him  about living water.

Ten years ago he had read of a man in Haiti who had travelled for three weeks with a broken hip, shuffling most of the way. Khalid remembered how in awe he was of this man’s courage. He now understood, it wasn’t courage, it was being more scared of the alternative, it was not choosing heroism; it was choosing life.

B’nyaroi, the girl with the bible, she had died along with her whole family. The men had barricaded their home and set it ablaze. The crowd cheered as the screams stopped. Horrific, Khalid thought. She had been teaching him about Jesus, she had such joy in her eyes and her face shone in a way he had never seen. He listened to her as she excitedly told him about life with this Saviour who was God and man. He said little but the leaflet with ‘the prayer’ had been read and spoken out loud. When he thought of B’nyaroi he thought of peace, love and acceptance.

Minutes later he was moving, a little faster now he hopped some and crawled some.

Hours later he arrived into the village of Velanidia and knocked at the first door.

Days later he was walking on crutches in the gardens of Molaoi Lakonia General Hospital. He had lost half his left leg, but his eyes were much improved. He would never have full sight again but he had enough to see the beautiful anemones and orchids. He was walking in God’s garden.

Weeks later still nursing wounds both physical and emotional he stood on a stage in Athens. He spoke the fluent English, his father had insisted he learn, he told of terror and redemption, he told of hospitality and he wept as he told B’nyaroi’s story.

Months later he enrolled in a theological college somewhere in the world. He know called himself Khalid the Living, he wanted to reach out to his nation, to his former community, he wanted to spread the gospel message of love into the hearts of Bassel and Yaman and all the other young people caught up in the blood battle. His eyes, precious to him now, watered freely when he thought of how much love he had for those young boys, for the men who torched B’nyaroi and her family. How much love the Father has for him and everyone else. He was living, Khalid the Living.

Years later Khalid … (yet to happen)