Thursday, 29 March 2012

This paraphrase is in answer to the question how does the Bible apply to life.

ISAIAH  40:  3-5  

While your life is empty and deserted, a voice calls “Prepare.”
From your place of wilderness, a highway will be made for our God.
From the valley of depression, loneliness and sadness, you shall be raised up.
The mountains of pride, arrogance, rebellion and worldliness shall be humbled.
The rough places of frustration, bitterness and haunting memories shall be leveled.
The rugged places of fear, doubt and confusion shall be made a plain.
So the glory of the Lord shall be revealed.  

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Happy Place.

 I think I have two happy places.

On my mother-in–law’s wall is a picture of a lonely beach.  On a sand dune is a girl sitting dressed in white with a hat that has a blue ribbon on it.  This picture draws me into my happy place -  a lonely beach.  The weather could be clear or a grey, it doesn’t matter.    It is a place where I am exposed to the elements.  But these elements will not harm me.  The wind is strong and free.   It whips sand at my ankles and as I paddle, the surf is cold but these just combine to make me feel alive.  I can smell the salt air and it fills my lungs to clean out all the stress as it transfuses my being.   An empty beach makes me want to run and dance and twirl and somersault.   I just walk and walk though, imagining those exuberant expressions of fulfillment.  The sky is open and the sea is bare.  Open to all possibilities.  And that is why I come to this lonely beach.  I can be open to all possibilities. 

The second happy place I retreat to is in the mountains.   Here I am happy enclosed in a forest.  There are strong tall trees about me and all is green, again alive but now over grown.  Here I can enjoy a view from a clearing and look down on the valley from which I have emerged.  In the mountains I can hide in the forest.  Here I can reach out and touch a flower, hug a tree, get close to a small insect before it sense my presence and flies away.   Here I can look up the trunk of those tall trees and watch leaves dance in the light of the canopy.  I can feel their strength.  I can touch the bark and connect myself to the Lord of creation as they reach up to praise Him.  

Thursday, 22 March 2012


Grim shadow on the darkened sky
Has Satan really won?
Behold Him whom they crucify
Our Saviour, God's own Son.

This cruel cross is one we built
With evil of our own
The victim of all others' guilt
He bears our sin alone.

His fate is shared too by a thief
Whose new life is begun
Through repentance and belief
Acknowledging God's Son.

We too must look to Him who dies
To know the life He brings
So He can claim us as his prize
Returning King of Kings.


The Lord is my Clowning Friend
I shall not tumble.
He helps me to play in public places.
He restores my makeup
and anoints my head with a bright wig and a silly hat.
When I am in the halls of the nursing home, I shall have just the right giveaways.
I shall walk in large colourful shoes.
He provides my props and prepares my routine before me.
Friends with names like Sunshine, Little Star, Sparkles, Gerry and Hallelujah
will be with me all my clowning days.
And I will mime
and dance
and play
in the presence of the Lord

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

A String of Laughter

This is the story of my piece of string.  No ordinary string this.  My string has power, the power of laughter.  The sort of laughter that is contagious; the laughter that catches you by surprise and changes the colour of your day.  From the power of a smile to the strength of a blasting guffaw, my piece of string can make people see the quirks of life and find them funny.  Faded now, it used to be a colourful piece of string; but it has not lost its extraordinary power of amusement.
My string of laughter can tie people in knots.  It can bind people together.  My string can break ice, remove tension and form friendships.  All I have to do is show my string - reveal it in my hand, hold it high for people to notice and the response is contagious.  Laughter making more strings of laughter.
How long is a string of laughter?  A blast, a guffaw, a twitter, a snort, a bubbling rumbling hearty sound that tapers into tears of joy, leaving us feeling loved.
Once I kept it hidden in my coat pocket.  I thought no one would be interested in an old piece of string.  it was reassuring to touch it and know it was there, but there it stayed, me fondling it briefly now and again.
I don't remember how it came to be revealed or how I discovered its power,  I only remember that one bright morning I found myself connected to a group of strangers by this colourful thread which had taken on a life of its own as it twisted and tangled and tied its way teasing us as we flailed helplessly into convulsions of hysteria.
As my mysterious string aged it began to fray.  Its power now revealed happy wrinkles around the eyes and mouth, lines of laughter that spoke of a time before the war, before the death of a spouse, before the deluge that rushed away fragile temporal realities.
But in its fraying there was multiplication.  My string of laughter was now four winding tendrils making their way into faded thoughts and memories where there was still a sound, the faint sound of a string of laughter.


The colour of hunger is yellow, dusty, barren land no longer able to produce.
The colour of hunger is brown longing eyes searching for compassion.
The colour of hunger is a red cross on a white background providing relief.
The colour of hunger is green algae on what is left of the water supply.
The colour of hunger is black scavenging insects.
The colour of hunger is red lights in black streets.
The colour of hunger is brown coats covering grey bodies in blue bitumen doorways.
The colour of hunger is green over green upon pink palms.
The colour of hunger is white empty grocery department shelves.
The colour of hunger is iconic yellow upon bright red.
The colour of hunger is white pages waiting for black characters.